What's New in October 2020

BCLN E-news

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

After what has felt like a long winter hibernation period, spring has firmly arrived in all her glory and with plenty of rain! It has certainly extended our tree planting season with some of our Landcare Groups and our Works crew continuing to plant even into mid October. With restrictions slowly lifting, it has been great to get the chance to spend some more time outside and with one another (at a safe distance of course), what a relief to say the least.

For now though, until we can get together in larger numbers at our traditional field days, we have adapted with a number of great online events coming up for you - including two much needed mental health training events, aimed at those of us who are involved with environmental work. There is also an opportunity for us all to support a rare kind of butterfly, new grants for volunteering, free governance resources for groups, a new podcast page, project updates and more, so grab a cuppa, find a comfy spot and read on....enjoy!


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Online Event: Regenerative Agriculture and Weed Management - the Big Picture!

Are you interested in learning more about managing weeds in a regenerative agriculture system? Do you want to find out what weeds in your landscape are telling you about your farm and landscape? Join us for this exciting online webinar featuring regenerative agriculture expert Declan McDonald who will explain the 'big picture' approach to Weed Management.
Date: Thursday 29th October 2020. Time: 10.30 am to 12.00 pm.

For more details and to register your place by Monday 26th October, please click here. 


Online Mental Health First Aid Course

As part of the Our Catchments, Our Communities Regional Leadership Program, the PPWCMA is hosting mental health first aid training for volunteers and professionals working with volunteers in natural resource management. The course features an online self-guided component and two online group sessions. Two facilitators, Tamara Wilson and Joel Clapham, have been engaged to support this training. The are currently four dates available, with up to 12 spots in each. You must be able to attend both sessions.

Group 1 (Tamara): Tuesday 20 & 27 October, 10am-1pm
Group 2 (Joel): Thursday 22 & 29 October, 2pm-4.30pm
Group 3 (Tamara): Friday 30 October & 6 November, 10am-1pm
Group 4 (Joel) Saturday 31 October & 7 November, 2.00pm-4.30pm

Click here for more information and to book your place.


Online Event: Using Disruptive technologies in Agriculture

You are invited along to an exciting online zoom field day on ‘disruptive technology’ and how it can be used to help you make on-farm management decisions. Online field day topics include:
• What is disruptive technology?
• How can it help you transition in a changing climate?
• Drones on Farm
• Data Farming Tools - NDVI, Google Earth, Digital Elevation and Maps

This will be held on Thursday 5th of November from 10.30am-12pm. 

Please click here for all the details and to book your place. 


Addressing Eco Anxiety, for Environmental Volunteers and Community Groups

Mental health studies report a rise in people reporting stress or anxiety about the rapidly changing state of the environment and the climate changes underway. The word for this feeling is 'eco-anxiety'. Since the fires and the Covid-19 pandemic, there is more fear about the future. Those who dedicate their time to protect and regenerate the environment, such as environmental volunteers and professionals,  have been especially impacted by recent events.

The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA has collaborated with the Mind Room to host an eco-anxiety forum for volunteers and facilitators from Landcare and community groups in the Port Phillip and Western Port region.

Participants will discuss the impact of environmental events and disasters (with a focus on recent fire events) and share ideas on how to re-empower volunteers and groups in the face of real-life climate change (note: you do not have to have been directly impacted by the fires to attend).

The forum will be run online over two sessions on Friday 13 November, 10am – 1pm and Friday 20 November, 10am – 1pm. Participants need to attend both sessions.

Click here for more information and to book your place.


Pilot Online Landcare Youth Summit for High Schools!

The Landcare Youth Summit on December 1, is an online conference for 20 high schools from across Australia. This is a small pilot online conference event for young adults aged between 14 and 18 years. The event will also involve a small group of young panelists and workshop facilitators. The panel sessions will be recorded and made available on the Landcare Australia website. 

High Schools involved in the program will participate in four workshops and be provided with a $1,000 grant to start their own Landcare project at school or in their local community.

Young people will discuss project ideas, career pathways and the know-how to join existing Landcare groups and/or create their own groups through a series of panel discussions and workshops with young experts in: climate change, conservation, sustainable agriculture, Indigenous perspectives and
community well-being.

Click here to find out more.


Save the date for the BCLN AGM: 5th December

The 2020 Annual General Meeting Date has now been confirmed. It will be held on Saturday 5th December. Please save the date for now, more details to follow as they are confirmed and hopefully as restrictions are lifted. 

Photo taken at Last Year's AGM

Click here to find out more about our Network.



Planting Day at Caroline and Nick Sibly's!

Works crew and volunteers have recently planted 3800 indigenous damp forest plants, at Caroline and Nick Sibly's place in the Woolamai hills. This site is over 80m wide and encapsulates a large landslip and the riparian zone of Bridge Creek.

Nick Sibly, President of 3 Creeks Landcare Group, did an amazing job of fencing the site off by hand in the weeks leading up to the planting. He also did a great job of spraying the spots. Its great to see Nick and Caroline continuing on the great Landcare work that Nick's Mum and Dad (Gulia and Barry) have done on the family farm.

Doing the planting were Bass Coast Landcare Works crew working alongside the Working for Victoria team as well as 3 Creeks volunteers. This project has been funded in partnership through the Bass Coast Shire Council Biolinks and 3 Creeks Landcare group Victorian Landcare Grant. Thank you to all involved.

Click here to find out more about other activities of the Three Creeks Landcare Group. 


Bass Coast Landcare Staff Planting Day for our Carbon Offset program!

Smiles all round for the BCLN team because we had the opportunity to get outside and plant trees together since some of the outdoor gathering restrictions have eased.

On a glorious sunny day in late September, we planted just over 400 indigenous plants on public land next to the Bass River, helping to stabilise eroding sections of the river bank. This local tree planting was the result of contributions by our community to the Car Offset Program. Donations to this program cover the planting of enough indigenous plants to offset your car’s emissions for a year, with the bonus of contributing to restoring your own local landscape.

Thanks go to all of our previous donors that have made this work possible. 

Click here to offset your vehicle emissions with BCLN.


Roadside maps the key to weed control in the Bass Coast

The Bass Coast Landcare Network (BCLN) has been working in partnership with the Bass Coast Shire Council (BCSC) on roadside weed control since the early 2000s. BCLN began by engaging landholders to undertake weed control through a chemical handout scheme and managing contractors to target the worst of the weeds.

"The mapping project meant we could maximise the effectiveness of the weed control program to the point that all large mature infestations have been controlled." - BCLN Ecosystem Services Coordinator, Robbie Gray.

Check out the latest edition of the Victorian Landcare and Catchment Management magazine, where BCLN were featured regarding their weed management of rural roads.

Click here to read the full article.



Volunteering Innovation Fund - open to individuals and local groups

Parks and forests in Victoria are supported and enhanced by a host of passionate volunteers. The Volunteering Innovation Fund is building on this incredible work and inviting everyone to enjoy Victoria’s Great Outdoors through volunteering. They are looking for innovators, nature-lovers and community minded people to expand and diversify environmental volunteering across Victoria.

Launching in Spring 2020, there will be multiple competitive funding rounds between 2020 and 2023, with funding up to $20,000 or $50,000 available per project. This Grant is through Parks Victoria (Victorian Government). This $2 million investment is part of the Victoria’s Great Outdoors program, to encourage innovation, inspire more Victorians to volunteer for nature, and attract a greater diversity of people volunteering in parks and forests.

Click here for more information.


Would you like to support a rare species of butterfly on your property?

An exciting opportunity has come up to support the Sword Grass Brown Butterfly through planting a particular plant species, Gahnia siebeiana.

Mal Brown, a local to the Loch/Nyora area has been donating plants to locals every year in an effort to increase habitat for these rare butterflies.

He is keen to donate plants to anyone who has land available - this could be you! His only request is that you are happy to be contacted for follow up research in the future - to track how effective this has been is in your area.

Please email [email protected] if you would like to have some Gahnia siebeiana - for free. There are only limited numbers available, so reply swiftly if you are interested!


Governance Handbook - Free Resource

There is a new Governance Handbook available, from West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. It is a complete governance manual, with information and editable forms. This is a useful resource for groups and committees.

Good governance is essential for community groups and networks. It ensures that obligations are met, fairness and due process are followed, problems are minimised and groups and committees function well. We recommend looking at this free and excellent resource if you are involved in a group or committee. 

Photo of Landcare Facilitator Marnie Ellis.

Click here to access the Handbook.


Interested in Regional News?

Subscribe to our two local Catchment Management Authority Newsletters!

West Gippsland CMA - Sign up for their e-news that will be sent out monthly with latest updates on grants, resources, podcasts, case studies and group support for Landcare, community and NRM groups in West Gippsland.  Click here to subscribe.

Port Phillip & Westernport CMA - Sign up for their monthly enewsletter to stay up to date on the latest news, events and projects from the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA. Click here to subscribe.


New Podcasts Page!

Check out our new podcast page on the website!

There are some great new podcasts available over October, including one with  BCLN Member Landscape Designer, Karl Russo. Gerard, from Gippslandscapes podcast series spoke with Karl about the project he and partner Rachel are involved in where they are transforming 100 acres of cleared, hilly and eroded farm land into a haven for native wildlife and a home for themselves and their young family. It's an extraordinary story! 

Click here to visit our new Podcasts Page.



Can we help you protect the Western Port Ramsar site?

Bass Coast Landcare Network., in partnership with Port Philip & Western Port Catchment Management Authority are working together to protect sensitive areas of the Western Port coastline. We have the potential to aid landholders to conduct conservation activities in this Ramsar listed area and are seeking interested landholders that would like to be involved.

Ramsar sites are wetlands that are listed as having international importance for migratory water birds under the ‘Ramsar Convention on Wetlands’. The majority of Western Port, from the north coast of Phillip Island is recognised as a Ramsar site, highlighting the importance of protecting the coastline that adjoins it.

Below is a list of potential conservation activities that we may be able to support you with:

- Fencing off saltmarsh and coastal vegetation communities
- Pest plant and animal control in coastal sites
- Revegetation of coastal habitat
- Mangrove Shrubland restoration
- Coastal management advice

If your property connects to the coastline and you are interested in getting involved, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

Click here for more information.


eDNA Biolinks Biodiversity monitoring project

BCLN has recently partnered up with Victoria University and BCSC to participate in a very exciting cutting edge Biodiversity monitoring project. Christine Connelly, Lecturer in Environmental Science at Victoria Uni, secured funding from Victoria University to test out the effectiveness of EDNA biodiversity monitoring within some of our Large Scale Biolinks/Revegetation projects. Christine is using eDNA sampling alongside traditional wildlife camera monitoring to work out what animals are utilising our newly created habitats. She is also comparing the sites with areas nearby that haven’t been revegetated.

The main sites we are looking at are Paul Speirs, Karl and Racheal Russo’s Dani and Brad Carrs farms and the Gurdies Bushland reserve. These sites have been selected for their large project size and the variance in age of the revegetation. BCLN staff Dave Bateman, Geoff Trease and Jye Anderson are also involved in the project. They are doing vegetation diversity and density surveys in all the sites to also see if there is any correlation between the diversity of the sites with the amount of wildlife utilising the sites. Once we have the results from the project and a final report Christine will share it with our Landcare members. 

Photo of Christine and Diane setting up wildlife cameras.

To find out more about EDNA 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. 

Photo of Paul Micallef from our Work's Crew planting near the Bass River.

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


River Garden Update

Welcome to our October update for the River Garden, our flagship community gathering and education site for BCLN in Bass. We recently had some welcome assistance from a Working for Victoria Crew who renovated our 5-bed trial area near the bottom of the swales, where last summer we grew 1000’s of Roma tomatoes.

As we went into lockdown during harvesting, we needed something low maintenance to follow the heavy feeding tomatoes. Enter the humble broad bean! The ability to fix nitrogen in soils is one of its many talents. After sowing seed in winter many weeds invaded but the crew made short work of them (compost actually!), then top dressed with manure and mulched. In the next few weeks, we will cut down the beans leaving the roots in the soil and plant the next crop, or should I say ‘crops’, in their place.

This spring/summer we thought we might try a well-known plant guild that has been used for thousands of years, employs genius plant stacking and symbiotic relationships to increase yield and crop diversity in a smaller space. Sound too good to be true? Not really, it’s the Three sisters, more on that in next edition. Stay tuned while we wait for restrictions to lift and make some announcements on volunteers returning and workshops starting at the River Garden, we have missed you all and can’t wait to see you down there!

For more information and to register your interest in the River Garden please click here.


Landcare Public Fund - Bass Coast Arc is making projects a reality. Contribute 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.

Photo of Love Creeper, botanical name: Comesperma volubile found in Wonthaggi Heathlands.

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

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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Please send us any of your stories, events or other information for the next edition of the E-news by the end of the first week of the month.

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

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