What's New in March 2020

BCLN E-news

Hello to all our Landcare Members, Partners, Sponsors and Friends throughout the Bass Coast Landcare Network and welcome to the March edition of our E-news.

Firstly, we have a note from our Executive General Manager, Dave Bateman, regarding the current Covid-19 situation.

Hello to all of our BCLN members, Partners and Friends, 

The State Government has declared a State of Emergency to combat the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. In response to this declaration BCLN would like to encourage our Landcare groups to postpone any in-person meetings, events or gatherings until further notice. We will instead be putting systems in place to hold meetings via video/phone conferencing.

All BCLN related events have been postponed until further notice. People who have RSVP’d to these events will be notified via email.

BCLN will continue to operate, however for now our office staff will be working remotely with cloud based access to our systems. Our physical office in Bass will be closed to the public for the time being with all staff still contactable by mobile and emails.

Our works crew will continue to do work outside for now, however there will be an increased emphasis on social distancing, personal and static hygiene.

We will be working on ways to help our Landcare groups, Members and Volunteers interact with each other safely during this time and participate in online activities. 

We will keep you notified of any changes to the above as they happen, please stay safe in this difficult time.

Kind regards,

Dave Bateman

Executive General Manager


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Events Postponed Until Further Notice

The following events have been postponed until further notice;

  • Friday 20th March-  Innovation and Diversification Farm Visit to Clinton Tepper’s Multi Story farming enterprise
  • Thursday 26th March-  Grazfert workshop number 2
  • Friday 27th March- Growing Southern Gippsland Field Day- ‘Using waste as a resource, and renewable energy opportunities for farmers’
  • Sunday 29th March - Kongwak Hills Landcare Group first meeting for 2020 (Planning in place to hold via video conference)
  • Thursday 9th April- Kongwak Ellipak Farmer discussion Group
  • Friday 17th April- Master Tree Growers Discussion Group farm visit
  • Saturday 16th May - Sustainability Festival

Need Something to do While Social Distancing? How About Webinars!?

Isn't the internet a wonderful thing! While so many events have unfortunately been cancelled or postponed, there are lots of free webinars which you can access from the comfort of your own home! 
See our list below of upcoming webinars;

  • Agriculture Victoria's Climate Webinar - Wednesday March 25th, 12-1pm. The topic, “Tools for better irrigation scheduling” will focus on irrigation scheduling tools to achieve top yields and water use efficiency. Presented by Rob O'Connor (Agriculture Victoria)
    Click here for more info and to register!

  • Arthur Rylah Institute’s Seminar Summaries - Mondays 1-2pm Some highlighted topics include: 
  • Conservation in the Kimberley - a perspective from working within an NGO - Richard Falkner (ARI, Communication and Collaboration)
  • Trees for fish: Angler Riparian Partnerships Program (2nd-half) - Renae Ayres (ARI, Population Processes)-
  • FAME decision tools for biodiversity - a breakthrough in fire management - Josephine MacHunter and Nevil Amos (ARI, Fire Ecology) 
  • Prioritising human behaviour change for conservation in Victoria - Matthew Selinske (RMIT University)
    Click here for more info and to register!

  • Not-for-profit Law Webinars - Tuesday 24 March - 12.45-2.00pm
    Not-for-profit-law provides training on a range of common legal issues faced by community organisations and individuals within them.
    Click here for more info and to register!

#Switch Off and Raise your Voice for Nature

Since 2007, Earth Hour has been embraced by communities large and small. This year, WWF is inviting you to #SwitchOff at 8.30pm on Saturday 28 March 2020. Every year hundreds of millions of people around the world in more than 7,000 cities in over 180 countries take part in this amazing global conservation movement. Join the movement and take part in Earth Hour by switching off at 8.30pm for 60 minutes as a symbolic gesture of solidarity to show they care about our planet’s future.
2020 is a critical year for us and for the planet. It’s a year of important global meetings on environmental policy. These meetings are our opportunity to persuade global leaders to make decisions that will benefit our planet’s future, and that we have to protect and restore nature before it’s too late. By signing up to #SwitchOff, you’ll show key Australian politicians that they must act with urgency if we’re to save the one home we all share.

Click here to register your participation in Earth Hour and join the movement!

Need something to do with the kids at home on the school holidays? Try a Junior Landcare activity!

Landcare Australia and Junior Landcare have made it easy and FUN for you to get the children in your life involved in environmental sustainability activities at school, at home or in your community.

  • 30-minute activities aligned to the school curriculum
  • Step-by-step instructions  with background information
  • Useful links and resources for further information
  • Did you know? section with useful tips
  • Share your experiences with the online Junior Landcare community.

From planting a garden and building a worm farm to finding out about biodiversity and improving soil, plus much, much more in between, these easy to follow activities will give you plenty to do over the school holidays. 

Click here to take you to the Junior Landcare learning center page.



Sustainability Festival

EVENT POSTPONED - Please note the Sustainability Festival has unfortunately been postponed due to Covid-19 and will hopefully go ahead in Spring instead. 

We have an exciting announcement to make....This year's Sustainability Festival is now being managed by the Bass Coast Landcare Network!!!
Bass Coast Shire Council think it's a great fit for a community based, not-for-profit environmental organisation to be the new host.
To be put onto our exhibitor, stallholder, entertainer or demonstrator email list and be the first to find out when new information is released, please email your details to [email protected]
Lisa and the team at Bass Coast Landcare Network are excited to bring you a great community event that will inspire and assist us to adapt for the future!!! 

For now, to get some great sustainability related information and stay in the loop for the Festival, click here to go to the Festival facebook page. 


Lots to Learn at the Peninsula Avocados Field Day

In mid-February the Bass Coast Landcare Network visited Peninsula Avocados as part of the Diversification and Innovation Discussion Group farm visit series.

Owner and operator Steve Marshall took the group on a fantastic walk through his orchards and processing facilities talking everything avocados, particularly the Hass avocados which are grown by Peninsula Avocados. Feedback by those who attended was extremely positive with most people surprised by the complexities to growing avocados successfully in southern Victoria.

A big thanks to all those who attended this informative farm visit, and to Steve Marshall for hosting us.

Click here for the Sustainable Agriculture page on the BCLN website


A deer-lightful day for Gippsland Intrepid Landcare

Gippsland Intrepid Landcare headed out at the end of February into the misty Strzelecki rainforest for their  first Deer monitoring day. Led by Shannon from Gippsland Water, Brad and Pat from ProCon they cruised over waterfalls and under massive trees ferns to see and hear about the impact feral deer are having on the bush. Spoiler alert: it’s super bad.

Trail cameras were checked where they saw footage of deer (and a lyrebird!) and then installed 3 more cameras to assist the monitoring of the site. Once all the footage is back entered into DeerScan to help with management of deer in the area.

Thanks to GippslandWater, ProCon , WGCMA, AgVic, Latrobe Catchment Landcare and The View From Here for making it happen.

For more on Gippsland Intrepid Landcare click here.


Water Management Field Day a Dam Good Event

We hosted a fantastic field day in late February on Phillip Island, discussing On Farm Water Management in a changing climate. Around 60 people attended this exciting and informative event which was part of the Growing Southern Gippsland project. A big thank you to all our guest speakers for their time and expertise and also to all those who attended from across Southern Gippsland. A special thanks to Phillip Island farmer, Bill Cleeland, for hosting us on his farm in the afternoon session.

Feedback from the day was extremely positive and we hope all those who attended went home with increased knowledge and understanding on how to manage their farms in a changing climate.

Click here for more on the Growing Southern Gippsland project.


New Recycled Biodegradable Tree Guards

We have some new tree guards on the way, made from recycled materials, which are also biodegradable! We can now offer these to our Landcare members for an environmentally sustainable option to replace smaller cardboard/carton guards used in the past.
These guards come supplied with their own weed mat, which gives the seedlings a better chance against the competition of weeds and pasture grasses. Once installed, the guards will last 18 months before breaking down, the perfect amount of time for your seedlings to outgrow the guard. Guards do not need to be removed, and only require one hardwood stake... we look forward to using these!!

Click here for more information on conducting your own Landcare project.


Gippsland Intrepid Landcare Member kicking goals for the environment!

Gippsland Intrepid Landcare member Kelsey Tong has been nominated for the 7NEWS Young Achievers Award 2020 - in the category of IKON Services Environmental Sustainability Award. The purpose of the young achievers award is to acknowledge, encourage and most importantly promote the positive achievements of all young people in Victoria up to and including 29 years of age as of the 31st Dec each year. She was nominated for her work with Gippsland Intrepid and helped co-found the organisation in mid 2017. Awesome achievement Kelsey!

For more on Gippsland Intrepid Landcare click here



Coastcare Grant Applications Open Now!

Coastcare Grant application are now open. The Coastcare Victoria Community Grants program supports community organisations to protect and enhance the coastal and near-shore marine environment. Grants of up to $30,000 per project are available, with two catergories to enter into;

1. Stewardship and Education

2. Strengthening Our Volunteer Groups

Closing Date for Applications - Thursday 7 May 2020, 5:00pm

Click here for further details and to apply.


Young Farmers Advisory Council EOI open 

Expressions of Interest are open to join the Young Farmers Advisory Council. The Victorian Government is seeking enthusiastic, skilled and dynamic young people, from all agricultural industries and regions, to join the Young Farmers Advisory Council.

Council members represent the interests of young farmers and provide advice to government on issues and program delivery affecting young people in agriculture. To express your interest or for more information go to www.getonboard.vic.gov.au

Expressions of Interest close: 22 March 2020.

Further Information: regarding the Council and appointment process, contact Gemma Heemskerk on (03) 9938 0161 or [email protected]


Next month is Citizen Science Month, but what is Citizen Science?

Citizen science could be described as “voluntary public participation in the scientific process.” Which means everyone can get involved with real scientific research! Increasingly we are seeing the general public assisting with projects developed by working scientists. Scientific research often involves gathering or sorting through large quantities data, photos, etc. A lot of this work is now being done by non-scientists with minimum training, which means adults, children, families, groups, or individuals all have a wide variety of opportunities.  

In Australia, even while practicing social distancing, you can take photos of insects, animals and plants around your place and load them up to a number of different citizen science apps or websites to help document our biodiversity.

BCLN has used the iNaturalist app at recent field days in the River Garden and the riverside plantings in Bass for recording the many insects we have seen. You too can download this app and start snapping away, load up your photos and once loaded, you can look for what they might be and make a guess using the species prompted. These entries are then checked by scientists, verified, then entries are added onto national biodiversity data sets including Atlas of Living Australia. The picture above shows a caterpillar that was verified by scientists as being Chlenias actuaria a moth of the Geometridae family and a map of all of the species recorded in the River Garden area around the Bass Landcare Office.

Click on this link to find out more about using iNaturalist and get started capturing pictures of your biodiversity today!


What's in Your Backyard?

Here's a fun activity to get the kids outdoors and looking at what interesting things they can find in their backyards! Costa is encouraging kids to snaps some pictures of what they see in their environment, whether that be their veggie patch, local park, wetland, beach or farm. Submit your pictures for a chance to win some cool prizes!

Click here to learn more about it, and to enter the competition!


Grant Funding Available to Tackle Gorse

We have grant funding available from the Victorian Gorse Taskforce to target gorse on Phillip Island and the Bass Coast region. Gorse is one of Victoria’s worst weeds, not only does it reduce the value of pastoral land, it is also a fire hazard and provides habitat for feral animals such as cats, rabbits, and foxes. Grants of up to $1,000 are available to landholders, with a requirement for matching in-kind contribution.

Get in quick as there is limited funding left!

Contact Chantelle Geissler on 0456 390 423 or [email protected]

Check out our Weed control page for more weeds related information. 



Mangrove Planting Throughout February

Our Works Crew continued the interesting task of preparing and planting mangroves throughout February. We just loved this pic of a little 'mangrove party' being held at the depot. The Crew had music pumping whilst tying mangrove seeds onto bamboo stakes, ready to direct seed at 3 sites along the coastline between Anderson and Jam Jerrup.

To read more about our Works Crew, click here to visit the Works Crew page!


River Garden Update

We have some beautiful big watermelons and rockmelons growing in the swales right now, which aren't too far away from being ready to harvest! Our roma tomatoes are finally ripening, and cucumbers still growing steady. Our little quince trees have masses of heavy fruit weighing them down, which are just about ripe for the picking, and apple espaliers are still producing.

We have had some awesome volunteers working hard in the Garden... stay tuned, we will share what they've been up to soon!!

For more information on the River Garden and how you can get involved please click here


Offset your Car Emissions in Local Planting Projects!

If you feel passionate about the environment and want to do your bit for our beautiful native flora and fauna, why not consider offsetting your car emissions with Bass Coast Landcare Network? Just click on your car's size to make a donation, which will cover the planting of enough indigenous plants to offset your car’s emissions for a year and contribute to restoring your own local landscape. 

All your friends and family will also see your complimentary car sticker showing your commitment to the Bass Coast environment. 

To offset your car emissions with BCLN click here.​​


Bass Coast Arc – Landcare Public Fund making projects a reality – Donate today to make a difference!

The Bass Coast Landcare Public Fund is a regional non-profit organisation focusing on conserving biodiversity throughout Bass Coast.​ The Bass Coast Arc – “Community Access to Public Space” concept supports community groups to work with public land managers to improve the environment of our public spaces and create appropriate access to these unique areas.

Your contribution, no matter how small, helps to protect native plants and animals in Bass Coast’s most ecologically important landscapes.

Click here to find out more about how you can assist this important work.



Farewell Abby

We are sad to say goodbye to Abigail Yarranton  our People, Culture, & Capability Manager.  Abby has done a fantastic job working for BCLN for over 6 and half years. Abby’s key achievements over her tenure include; helping BCLN transition away from the Bass Coast Shire Council employment arrangements, setting up all our Financial and HR policies and procedures, transitioning our financial system to Xero and setting up and managing our financial systems. Abby had also stepped up to Executive Officer position in Kellie's absence for the first half of 2019. Abby’s both financial and HR knowledge has been a fantastic asset to BCLN. Abby has been instrumental in setting up our professional well organised workplace that we all now enjoy. Abby will be returning to the corporate world to work as the HR and Partner for a large multinational IT firm. We wish Abby all the best for her future and will also greatly miss her delicious cupcakes and other treats!

For more information on our staff team click here. 


Current Position available

Finance and Organisational Support Manager

Flexible Part-time Role- Innovative and Successful not-for-profit organization - Salary $85k-$95k

Bass Coast Landcare Network is seeking a dedicated and professional Finance and Organisational Support Manager to join our team on a one-year fixed term contract with the potential for ongoing employment. The candidate must have excellent financial management skills and be adaptable in a team environment.

Applications are to be submitted with resume and cover letter addressing selection criteria to: David Bateman at [email protected] by Sunday 22 March 2020. For more information contact David on 0488399151.

For further information and a full position description click here. 

What's your story?

We would love to hear from you and your Landcare group with stories and photos of what's been happening in your area and any suggestions of things that you would like to see in your E-news.

We look forward to meeting and catching up with you at upcoming events and activities around Bass Coast.

Until next edition, 

Happy reading, from the Bass Coast Landcare Network. 

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All we need is a photo and a couple of paragraphs to be sent to:  [email protected]

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