Mid Lachlan Landcare

Healthy Horses Healthy Landscapes Afternoon Saturday 25th July

Click here to view field day flyer – 25th July 2020

Why Scattered Paddock Trees?

Why plant scattered paddock trees?

With the recent fantastic response to our community tree guard mesh purchase we thought we’d ask some of our members, who have been putting in these trees over the last few years, why they do it.

Hugh & Jess (Cargo)

“We were highly motivated to plant scattered paddock trees because we could see a number of our existing and mature eucalypts dying and others showing signs of ill health due to the drought and to ongoing farming pressure.  We see established and mature trees as one of the most valuable resources on our property, they deliver benefits to our agricultural production systems, to the natural environment and to the wildlife to which they feed and provide nesting habitat. In addition they add value and beauty to our farm. Recognising that growing mature paddock trees is a long game we approached Mid Lachlan Landcare to seek some advice and got started. We’ve found that watching our trees grow and thrive has been very rewarding, we’re excited to observe our farm landscape changing and plan further scattered paddock tree plantings on a yearly basis across our property.”

Wendy (Canowindra)

“Our paddock trees aren’t getting any younger in fact most of them are senior citizens.  They are so important for connectivity and biodiversity as well as shade for stock in a world that is getting hotter.  There is no time to waste, get planting.”

Bron & Andrew (Canowindra)

“Andrew & I  first planted some scattered trees back in 2016, when we got some funding for through Mid Lachlan Landcare. We are about to take the guards off these & be able to reuse the guards for more plantings. We found that planting scattered trees gives you the ability to plant them where you want without a lot of fencing .

The trees we have planted provide a connectivity for wildlife with other areas, not just on our farm but further afield & the trees also will give shade for the future.

We have continued on with these plantings since 2016 & will continue to do so.”

Guy (Woodstock)

“The bare paddocks in the distance prevent the passage of any wildlife apart from large birds and large mammals from moving across the landscape. The planted trees in the foreground attract a diversity of species that aid in sustainability and support production. Were planting individual paddock trees on all our properties as it’s win/win for us.”

 These trees have had the guards removed now for use elsewhere

We also want to thank the ‘Saving our Species – Saving our Superb Parrot’ project for providing some funding for our community mesh purchase which has allowed everyone to recieve a further discount to help get trees into our local paddocks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SoS Waratah text only

Threatened Brown Treecreeper utilises Parrot nest box

We are pretty excited to report that while performing recent nest box monitoring with Kangarooby Catchment Landcare we discovered a Brown Treecreeper nesting with three eggs in one of our purpose built Red Rump Parrot nest boxes.

The Brown Treecreeper is an exciting species to find using a nest box. It is a threatened species and listed as vulnerable in NSW. The population density of this species has been greatly reduced over much of it’s range with major declines in remnant vegetation fragments less than 300Ha. It is found in Eucalypt Woodlands (including Box Gum Grassy Woodlands) Hopefully our current Box gum Grassy Woodland project will also help this species in the future.

Check out their eggs 🙂 They look big in the picture but are only 22.6 by 17.9mm. Eggs take 27 days to hatch so hopefully soon there will be some young in the nest. They prefer to nest in hollows of standing dead or alive trees.

202007211101180C

If you would like to find more out about Brown Treecreepers click here  Thanks to Jayden Gunn for letting us use his photograph of a Brown Treecreeper taken around Cowra.

Growing the Grazing Revolution to continue 2020 to 2022

We are excited to let you all know that our regions ‘Growing the Grazing Revolution’ project has received funding from the latest round of the Federal Governments ‘Smart Farms Small Grants’ program. This secures the project for a further 2 years until June 2022.

‘Growing the Grazing Revolution’ began in 2010 with a small group of Mid Lachlan Landcare members who were committed to actively support landholder adoption of sustainable and regenerative grazing management practices.

Since then it has grown to a large group of 120 landholders that belong to one of seven cluster groups and a further 264 landholders that are part of a wider network that receive varying levels of support.

In recent years we have received many enquires from other Landcare groups about setting up a similar project in their regions and have assisted Upper Lachlan Landcare and Boorowa Community Landcare to set up successful grazing groups which is fantastic.

A portion of the funding received is to enable us to build a simple toolkit that we can use with other groups interested in setting up similar projects.

A large part of this projects success and longevity is due to the support, oversight and direction coming from our Growing the Grazing Revolution board. This board contains local practitioners who have shared much of their experience with staff and participants over the last 10 years.

We want to take this opportunity to thank the board plus everyone who has been involved and continues to support this project. The team are so looking forward to seeing what this next 2 years brings.

If you are interested in becoming involved in this project or you are part of a Landcare group looking to run a similar project that supports your local landholders please contact: –

Scott Hickman    ph. 0427 450 416             email- oatleigh@westnet.com.au

Peter Davis         ph. 0408 643 122             email- pkdavis66@outlook.com

For general enquiries contact midlachlanlandcare@gmail.com

Print

Have you seen these Dung Beetles on your farm?

As part of our new Dung Beetle project we have been talking with Bernard Doube of Dung Beetle Solutions International. We are going to focus on a winter active dung beetle that they are trying to get established in this region and we need your help.

These beetles are called Bubas bison and they are pretty amazing. They work during the winter and if you are lucky enough to have them they will bury dung 40-60cm down.  Where this beetle is plentiful they can bury a dung pad in a couple of days. Imagine the benefits these little guys can do for your soil and paddocks!!

How can you help? It would be fantastic if you could check your cattle, horse or soft sheep dung for the below signs of activity.

Snap a picture and then contact us at midlachlanlandcare@gmail.com We can then have a chat about what you can do next to confirm if you do have these particular beetles. Below are a couple of pictures we took of a Bubas bison found near Gooloogong.

Remember these guys are winter active so the time to find them is now. Come spring we can see what other varieties are found around the area.

Update : Box Gum Grassy Woodland Project

Mid Lachlan Landcare are happy to report that the sites for year one of the ‘White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Habitat on Farm’ project have been selected by the board and contracts have gone out 🙂 A couple of the projects have almost been completed already as well.

This is such a great project to be involved with. Some of the on gound works this year include :- direct seeding native understory species within remnant woodland patches, fencing of remnant areas to allow more strategic grazing and enhance the areas, scattered paddock tree connectivity planting, installation of Squirrel Glider nest boxes, guarding of young naturally regenerated seedlings, targeted weed control, and strategic planting of understory and/or canopy trees.

This project is being funded through the ‘Saving our Species’ program by the NSW Government. If you are interested in finding out more about the project, please contact us. We will begin assessing sites from July onwards for next year’s funding which can be up to $4000 to support on ground works to ensure the threatened White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Woodland survives in our region. You can also find out more information here

The included picture is of one of the remnant woodland sites that has received project funding. A gorgeous patch that regularly has Superb Parrots nesting and visiting. (Note: – photo taken in February before we had any of the recent lovely rains)

SoS Waratah text only

What’s in your Backyard?

Recent trips around the farm and in the backyard at Gooloogong have revealed some amazing things that I would not usually take notice of. During this time of social distancing, having the time to wander around, is a great way to reconnect with nature. Even if you only have a small yard you can find something interesting.

Take the featured image for instance. These were coming up in the garden!!! What on earth were they? Animal, vegetable, mineral? No idea!! I managed to then waste plenty of time on google and facebook groups trying to work out what they were. Have you ever seen these?

It turns out these are call Birds Nest fungi  and the fruiting bodies are said to resemble ‘tiny egg-filled birds nests’ Further research revealed that raindrops falling into the cup dislodge the little eggs and send them hurtling away where they stick to a surface and that’s how they spread. Wow!!!

They are not edible for humans and their jobs is to decompose organic matter. They are often found in mulches.

If you’re running out of things to do at home I challenge you to go outside (maybe with the children 🙂 and find something you have never noticed before and see if you can work it out. Mid Lachlan Landcare can help to point you in directions where you might be able to get an identification.

In the meantime check out some of the other things found around here recently.

Some of these I still need to research.

Happy Easter and Happy searching everyone.

Mid Lachlan Landcare visits Brigidine College Randwick and ‘Restaurant Takeover’

Some of the Mid Lachlan Landcare team were on the road this week building on our long
partnership with Brigidine College Randwick.

We were so pleased to be invited to attend The Brigidine College Randwick ‘Restaurant
Takeover’. The event has become an important feature of Brigidine College life and is part of the practical requirements for their HSC Food Technology Course.

The year 12 students put on an amazing 3 course dinner for 135 diners in a commercial restaurant. MLL were represented by Scott Hickman, one of our young Landcare members, Annie, and Andrew (Wooly) Wooldridge. We had a lovely evening and some very interesting conversations with the school executive and also with regional education administrators who had come to the dinner to learn more about the
innovative program being run at the school.

We saw the familiar faces of girls who had visited us last year. They were very busy
cooking, waiting on tables and being a great catering team. The students had planned and implemented all parts of the evening themselves and worked from 8:00am until 9:30 pm on the big day.

Scott, Annie and Wooly then backed up the next morning to give a seminar session to 80
year 8 students. Wooly spoke about Landcare, Annie spoke about living on a farm in drought and Scott discussed the goals and actions of his family grazing business.
The students were very engaged and had thoughtful questions about climate change, ethical purchasing, food labelling, ethical treatment of food animals, bushfires and drought. We were also very spoilt with a huge morning tea at the school.

88429743_227997735261750_382527070330159104_n

Mid Lachlan Landcare has a long partnership with Brigidine College. Every year their Yr11 Food Technology students spend 3 days in the Cowra and Canowindra district learning about food production and visiting local businesses.

It was great to be able to visit the school and we felt very welcome and looked after.
Next year we should take more MLL members to the dinner!!

Huge thanks to Aletha Scorse, Lisa Sampson, and Bev McCarthy – your school and
students are lucky to have such skilled and committed educators in their lives.

Some tree watering tips from the locals

Over the last couple of months we have been visiting some of the farms that have been involved in the ‘Saving our Superb Parrot’ project.

As the weather has been so dry people have come up with some great ideas to keep the trees alive and we thought you might like to see some of them.

Watering Milkbottle

This would be a good one if you don’t have too many trees to water. The landholder, over towards Neville, fills up 3lt milk bottles. They have put a small hole in the base and sit the bottle at an angle so the water slowly comes out. They have also tied the bottle to the post so it can’t blow away once empty. What a great idea!!

Woolen Mulch

Check out this next idea!! Over near Cowra they have used old wool found lying around the shed to mulch the trees and have had great success so far this summer. You can see the wool is already starting to break down. We would love to hear if anyone else has tried or regularily uses this method.

chambers

This is another one over near Cowra. The bucket is tied to the guard with holes drilled in the bottom. It’s pretty quick to then drive past on the quad with water tank attached, fill and move onto the next tree.

It is great to see so many of the trees planted surviving thanks to the efforts and care of all the farmers involved.

If you have any tips or tricks for how you keep your young trees alive we would love to hear about them. You never know, what you do might be the perfect solution for someone else. The more we share, the more our community and environment can thrive.

 

Squirrel Glider Nest Box Monitoring -Cargo NSW

On Friday 10th January Mid Lachlan Landcare monitored 4 nest boxes that have been installed on a farm in Cargo NSW. The boxes have been up for a couple of years now and this farm is where we held our Squirrel Glider Spotlighting night in 2018 with Australian National University’s ‘Sustainable Farms’ project.

Very happy to report that 2 out of the 4 boxes were occupied 🙂

The remaining boxes had leaf nests which means they are still being used. The pictures are taken from a long camera and it’s done very carefully so as not to disturb the gliders. It is very hard to get a good picture!!

Peter monitoring

The dam these Gliders would use for water in this paddock is getting very low and muddy on the edges. Peter decided to make one of the vacuum waterers to install in a tree to trial the provision of an alternative water source for this local Squirrel Glider population. Another small way we can help our wildlife at this time. We will try and get a monitoring camera onto this to see if the Gliders use it.

2020011009272007

This picture shows a huge mass of fur. Can you guess how many might be in there??

Tree waterer

It is fantastic to see so many of our  local landcare community doing what they can for their wildlife as well as trying to keep their farms running and stock fed during such a difficult time.