What's New in April 2019

BCLN E-news

Hello to all of our Landcare members, partners, sponsors and friends throughout the Bass Coast Landcare Network and welcome to the April edition of our E-news. 

This edition gathers together some great upcoming events, new funding opportunities and features some stories on events held in the past month. 

Grab a cuppa (and some Easter eggs!!) and scan below to read our snapshot stories or click on the links at the end of each story to read more information. Enjoy!

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Changes to River Garden Volunteer programs for Autumn-Winter 2019

Due to limitations in funding, resources and staffing, we have changed the dates and timing of our advertised volunteer sessions. Now interested Volunteers have the opportunity to come along for a couple of hours on the second Wednesday of the month, starting May 8th, where general maintenance activities will be conducted with limited supervision from Landcare staff.  A Community Corrections Crew will be working on the same day from around 10.30 so the idea is to get our community volunteers in first before the Crew arrives. Volunteers will be led through a simple induction process on their first visit and be involved in maintaining growing spaces on site. Meet like-minded people, learn from each other by doing and contribute to a great community project! 

If this sounds like something you want to be involved in please click here to register your interest in this Volunteer program.


Victorian Weeds Conference 7-8th of May

Where: the Mercure Port of Echuca. What: The conference program will cover a range of topics on environmental and agricultural weeds including (but not limited to) biological control, community projects, species in the spotlight, innovative solutions and demonstrations.

Further information can be found on the Weed Society of Victoria web-site by clicking here.


Gorse field day - Tuesday 14th of May

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce are running a series of field day across Victoria, and we are lucky to have one on Phillip Island. This event will be held at the Southern end of Gap Road, opposite the GP track, and will present best practice gorse removal and discuss the upcoming grants program. This is a great opportunity to learn the most current effective control methods, food and drinks are provided.

Click here for more information and to register for this field day.


What does climate change mean for farmers?

What are the risks? What are the opportunities? What can farmers do?

Come along to this one-day event on the 20th of June in Warragul to hear about climate forecasts, practical actions to build farm resilience, carbon farming opportunities, legal and financial risks and more. Presented by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Click here for more information and to book your tickets.


Master classes starting this Spring at River Garden

Our Master Class days will bring in the best experts to focus on topics that relate back to the growing spaces being developed by our volunteers. There will be a cost for these days which will include a great lunch, expert speaker, take home notes and an in-depth look at principles and techniques associated with each topic. Participant numbers will be capped to ensure thorough immersion in the topics. ​We were planning to start these in April but have now delayed this until spring so stay tuned for details as they are confirmed!!!!!!

For more information on the River Garden site click here.



Another quality biannual Landcare Forum

The biannual Landcare Victoria Inc forum was held at Halls Gap in the last weekend of March with only a couple of Gippslander’s in attendance, including our very own Paul Speirs flying the flag for Bass Coast. Paul reports that it was an excellent weekend, with around 80 people mainly from the local area and neighboring regions. Indoor sessions and afternoon field trips showcased the best examples of Landcare action in the region, “Everywhere we went people were doing exceptional things and explaining them with great enthusiasm. Trips to other landscapes are a bit like interplanetary expeditions in that the sites are very different, however we are all speaking the same Landcare language”, says Paul. Visits included bus trips to Landcare award winners, Peter and Christine Foster, who’s massive scale revegetation could be seen before they arrived, trips to sacred aboriginal cultural sites and a visit to a 55ha fenced wildlife reserve in its early stages.

It’s safe to say this was another high-quality event organized by Landcare Victoria Inc and the host region, and if you ever get the chance to attend one we highly recommend it. It’s been a while since we had a forum in Gippsland, stay tuned, you never know where the next one might be!

For more information on this event please click here.


Gippsland Intrepid Landcare AGM a Success

The Gippsland Intrepid Landcare Annual General Meeting had a great turn out of familiar and fresh faces to Gurney’s Cidery at Foster in late March. Ideas and laughs were exchanged over the wonderful food, plans in the pipeline were discussed and some awesome events are now lined up for 2019. Keep an eye out for what this amazing group gets up to next.

Gippsland Intrepid Landcare is a volunteer group for passionate, creative and energetic 18-35 year-olds, connecting young people to their region through environmental projects and epic adventures, new members always welcome. Go on get involved!

Click here to take you to the Gippsland Intrepid Landcare facebook page for the latest news.


Grazfert workshops completed

The latest round of the Grazfert program has now been held in Bass Coast. At the last workshop held in March, participants went through their nutrient plans in depth and gained further understanding on what their properties require to achieve healthy soils. Soil PH is a particular focus of this program and reinforces the need to always address your PH first.

The 2019 Grazfert program was funded through the Smart Farming in Westernport Project and is jointly managed by Bass Coast Landcare Network, Westernport Catchment Landcare Network, Melbourne Water and Agriculture Victoria.

For more announcements of upcoming training programs check the Training page on our website by clicking here. 


Bee News

We have just wrapped up our final Bee Keeping Masterclass for the year, as now is the time for bees to be packed down for the cooler weather and left alone. As you may remember from last month’s eNews, our yellow hive was struggling with a massive loss after suspected poisoning. Unfortunately this hive didn't pull through and we lost the whole colony. The second hive is appearing to be struggling a bit too, so we have relocated them to try and strengthen the colony over the winter. We will keep you updated on this in the coming months. 

Despite having these devastating setbacks, participants have learnt about all aspects of bee keeping, including putting together frames, identifying different types of bees, marking queens, spinning honey, re-queening a hive, and then unfortunately how to deal with a sick colony. We would like to thank Rob Fransen of Sweet Bee Honey for these great Beekeeping Masterclasses… his passion and knowledge have inspired the majority of our group to start keeping their own bees, which is so great to see in the local area.

Click here for more Master Classes and Training opportunities as they are announced. 


Weed Control in the Bass Coast Area

Geoff Ellis, local Bass Coast Shire Councillor, wrote a great article for the latest Bass Coast Post about weed control. Geoff interviewed local Landcarer Lew Potter, who explains how much effort has been put in over generations to clear the paddocks of ragwort, blackberry and thistles.

Click here to read the article.


South Gippsland Fresh Farm Produce Visit

A great farm walk at Macca's Farm was held last month with over 25 people attending. A big thank you to Peter McDonnell and Angelika Christensen who hosted us and took us for an interesting journey through their operation. Highlights included the new farm store and restaurant, the pick your own strawberry patch, the hydroponically grown vegetables in the hothouses and the pigs. A great day all round showcasing innovation and diversification in action. Thank you to Macca's Farm for showcasing what can be done in southern Gippsland.

For more farm visits announced over 2019 check our News and Events page by clicking here. 



FarmHub support resources now available online

The FarmHub portal aims to connect Australian farmers with services and support during tough times, such as drought. FarmHub has been developed by the National Farmers’ Federation using funding from the Commonwealth Government and in partnership with numerous government and non-profit agencies which provide support to farmers.

Start exploring the information and resources available by clicking here.


Weeds at the early state of invasion - Early invader manual available

The Weeds at the Early State of Invasion Early Invader Manual is a tool to assist land managers with the management of early invader environmental weeds. It is full of easy-to-understand steps and templates to guide you through a logical weed management process.

Click here to download your copy.

Or order a free hard copy for posting to you by clicking here.


Free assistance to improve farm health and safety

Richard Versteegen’s role as a Farm Safety Extension Officer for the Victorian Farmers Federation is to assist the farming community to improve health and safety on farms. His assistance is currently available to all, and even better there is no cost! Richard may be able to assist by, speaking at events, doing farm walks, doing reviews and answering questions by phone. With his role taking him across all of Victoria, appointments are necessary. 

Click here for further information on how he can help and/or to contact for an appointment.


Fire Preparedness & Prevention Expenses For Primary Producers – ATO Factsheet

Primary producers are entitled to claim income tax deductions for costs related to fire emergency preparedness and prevention.

Click here for the Fire Preparedness & Prevention Expenses ATO factsheet.

Click here for other ATO factsheets for primary producers on the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network’s website. 



Building the Bass Coast Biolinks Project

Jye Anderson, Project officer for the ‘Building the Bass Coast Biolinks’ project, has been busy in the field collecting  valuable data. The project was funded by the State Government as part of its Biodiversity Response Planning initiative, with an aim of enhancing biodiversity values at important remnant sites in the network. Jye is working hard to establish a comprehensive weed map of the sites to enable our Works Crew to strategically target key areas. This will set precedence for an in-depth monitoring and reporting system over the 3-year project.

For updates on Natural resource management projects within BCLN click here.


Works Crew weed work

Over the past two weeks the Works Crew has been assisting West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) in eliminating woody weeds along the Tarwin River West Branch. They have been concentrating on a number of key species, particularly Willows (Pussy & Crack/Basket), Holly, Sycamore Maple and Rubber Trees, with an aim of improving natural stream flow and enhancement to of native riparian communities.

“Working in Mount Worth State Park has provided us with a great opportunity to see the kind of pristine, intact remnant forests that once would have filled the steeper gullies of the Bass Coast. It’s motivating to see what our revegetation works on the Bass Coast will look like in 50-100 years” says Jye Andersen. The crew will be doing some follow-up woody weeding next year and potentially some infill planting of natives in the future.

For more information on on our Works Crew and the range of services and contract work they are available for 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.  You will also receive a great sticker for your car to show your commitment to the 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 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. ​​



We say goodbye to Kellie Nichols

As many of you are aware Kellie Nichols, our Executive Officer, has been on extended leave. She has been dealing with some personal issues during this period of absence. Kellie has chosen at this time to resign her position at BCLN, effective immediately. We ask you to respect Kellie’s ongoing privacy.

At this time David Bateman and Abigail Yarranton will be running the day-to-day operations of BCLN. Please feel free to contact them regarding any operational matters or enquiries you may have. Their contact details are below.

We thank Kellie for her many years of dedicated service to BCLN and wish her and her family the very best for the future.

Ric Oldham - Chair Bass Coast Landcare Network

Dave Bateman

Acting Executive Officer Projects, Partnerships + NRM Coordinator

Bass Coast Landcare Network

2- 4 Bass School Road, Bass 3991

Ph: (03) 5678 2335

Mob: 048 839 9151

5678 2335

Email: david.bateman@basscoastlandcare.org.au   

Abigail Yarranton MAHRI AIMM

Human Resources & Finance Manager 

Bass Coast Landcare Network

2- 4 Bass School Road, Bass 3991

Ph: (03) 5678 2335

Mob: 0433 703 779

Email: abigail.yarranton@basscoastlandcare.org.au

Click here to learn more about our Staff Team. 

Finally, we would like to leave you with this little quote to get you excited about the upcoming planting season while we are all wishing, hoping and waiting for a decent Autumn break to get started!


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 hope you have a safe and happy Easter break and look forward to meeting and catching up with you at upcoming events and activities around Bass Coast.

Until May, 

Happy reading, from the Bass Coast Landcare Network.

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