Mid Lachlan Landcare

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.

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Second Box Gum Grassy Woodland Workshop held

On Thursday 22nd October we held a workshop for the year 2 participants in our Box Gum Grassy Woodland Habitat on Farms project.

Dan Florance from the Austalian National University Fenner School of Environment and Society provided a great presentation and discussion with plenty of practical ideas on how we can protect, enhance and expand Box Gum Grassy Woodland on farm.

Ideas such as :-

  • fencing off and changing grazing practices within a remnant patch of woodland you might have on your farm.
  • ways to protect individual old paddock trees.
  • innovative ways to include understory species back into your farm.
  • looking at connectivity opportunities across the farm.
  • grazing management to maximise opportunities for our native grasses and forbs to grow, set seed and drop seed within our livestock enterprises.
  • direct seeding or tubestock.

We also discussed the huge range of Native flora and fauna that call this woodland home. After lunch we headed out for a site visit to one of last years completed projects. It gave everyone a chance to be inspired, see the gorgeous natives within the site, see the plenty of exotic annual species that have come up within the site this year (there is no perfect Woodland patch!) We checked out the innovative cluster circles he has put in to get some understory species into this patch. As under his careful management since 2013 there had still not been recruitment of understory species. He is hoping these circles will enable them to get established while he can still crash graze the rest of the paddock at strategic times.

It was lovely to be able to see the Superb Parrots that nest in this patch. Dan also heard and then pointed out Cockatiels that were utilising the patch as well.

Last years projects were fantastic and we are now very excited to see the projects this years participants come up with.

If you are keen to find out more about our Box Gum Grassy Woodland Habitat on Farm project and you are interested in getting involved for year 3 email us midlachlanlandcare@gmail.com.

Onthophagus vacca dung beetle coming to the region

As part of our current dung beetle project we are excited to announce that our Local Landcare Coordinator is recieving this newly imported species of dung beetle to breed in an on-farm rearing site.

The Onthophagus vacca were introduced to Australia in the 1980’s but they failed to establish. It is anticipated that this new strain of beetle is expected to survive and reproduce better than the earlier strains. This beetle is expected to fill the Spring gap in activity that some areas currently have.

This trial for Mid Lachlan Landcare will give our coordinator training to then enable her to assist our other landholders who become involved in the on-farm rearing of the Bubas bison (Winter active beetle) in Autumn 2021. Many thanks to Sally Kirby from Central Tablelands Landcare for the assistance.

To find out more about the Onthophagus vacca you can check out the article produced by Dung Beetle Ecosystem Engineers ‘ New import for Australia, meet the beetle : Onthophagus vacca

Our on-farm rearing site set up and ready to breed some dung beetles

Beetles being released into the on-farm rearing site 9th October 2020

Birds, if only they could talk!

As part of Birdweek 2020 the Cowra NRM along with support from Mid Lachlan Landcare, Saving our Superb Parrot and NSW Government, will be hosting an evening on all things Birding 🕊🐦

Join us on Tuesday the 20th October and spend an evening with Warren Chad & Damon Oliver for a light hearted talk about what’s going on with our feathered friends and discover the role you can play through observation and citizen science to make a difference.

Warren is a regular on ABC Central West radio and an avid contributor to Bird Life Australia, his life’s mission is to photograph and observe as many of the world’s birds as possible which all began as kid with a love of being outdoors and in natures splendour.

Dr Damon Oliver has been involved in research and conservation of woodland birds for 30 years. He especially loves the Superb Parrot and gets a thrill every time he sees or hears them. The best part of his job as a threatened species manager with the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species program is working with the many Landcare groups and landholders who share his love of the environment and sustainable agriculture. The Saving Our Superb Parrot project has been a wonderful example of community and Government working together as a team to help a threatened species in rural NSW.

Book your seat ASAP. You don’t want to miss this fantastic evening.

Expressions of interest now open for the Glossy Black Cockatoo project

Do you live on the Kangarooby Rd./Barryrennie Rd. area around Conimbla National Park? If so, would you like to do some tree planting on your property to help out this beautiful species listed as vulnerable in NSW.

We are seeking expressions of interest with a closing date of Monday 23rd November to undertake tree planting of Allocasuarina diminuta in Autumn 2021.

Click here for the Expression of Interest form.

For more information visit our Glossy Black Cockatoo project summary.

Cowra Archibird photo competition 2020

Bought to you by the Cowra Natural Resource Management Committee and partners.

📷🦅🦜😃 YAY….it’s that time again 😃🦜🦅📷

The 🦉🕊 Archibird Prize 🦉🕊 photography competition is now open for its 2nd year. We hope you have all been busy hanging out with the birds and taking photos, we’re certainly looking forward to seeing what you have captured. Last year’s entries were fantastic. 😍️💖

Entry Details:🦜 Like & follow the Cowra NRM facebook page 👍🦜 Send us your photos via messenger or email to cowra.nrm@outlook.com 📷🦜

10 photos per person per category (there are 3 categories)🦜 Photos must be of wild Australian birds taken within 100kms of Cowra 🦜 Photos entered in last year’s competition will not be accepted🦜

Provide the following details:

* Category your entering * Name & phone number * Caption/title of photo * Location photo was taken

Entries Close Monday 9 November 2020 Goodluck

Terms & Conditions

* Photos of birds held in captivity or restrained in any manner or that have been taken using harmful or unethical practices will NOT be accepted

* Photos of baby birds in nests will also not be excepted due to the risk of causing distress to the birds.

* The committee reserves the right to refuse any entry that does not abide by these rules and does not provide all necessary contact details.

* Entry into the competition signifies acceptance of all conditions. Entrants are required to abide by the Conditions of Entry and Terms and Conditions as presented.

* This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to the Cowra NRM and not to Facebook. The information you provide will be used for the competition only – your name and the photo caption/title is the only information that will be displayed on Facebook – all personal information will be stored confidentially for the Cowra NRM to contact you in the event you win a prize.

Growing the Grazing Revolution Update

What’s been happening in the last couple of month’s for Growing the Grazing Revolution?

In July we hosted another of our ‘Healthy Horses Healthy Landscapes’ workshops at Cargo with 20 people attending. Dr David Searle shared some great information on equine health. Although the weather was a little challenging all participants were able to take part in a paddock walk to inspect some great horse pasture.

Scott and Peter have been busy holding Grazing Cluster meetings at Bowan Park, Walli, Nyrang Creek, Woodstock and Darby’s Falls. Across the 5 Grazing  meetings we had over 35 attendees. The main topics for discussions were :-

1. Revising the past few years…. What worked, what we would do again and what changes, if any, to improve the next dry time.

2. And Now…. How are things looking after the rains and how are people feeling within themselves.

3. Cover cropping and it’s potential benefits for stock feed, multi species introduction and the important benefits for soil biology.

A Zoom meeting was also held at the Cowra Services Club with Terry McCosker for our peer leaders and the local participants of the training we held in Cowra last September. This was an excellent meeting with discussions on:-

  1. Recovering from Drought, repairing landscape, business and people
  2. Lessons learned from the dry period, What should we take forward for the next dry
  3. Boosting post Drought cash flow and ways to prevent excess debt
  4. Ideas on Event management in our landscapes
  5. Carbon link and government schemes
  6. Strategies for boosting soil biology

We are also happy to report that our event in December 2019 with Charlie Massy was included in the ABC ‘s Australian Story – ‘Breaking new Ground’ on Monday 28th September. It’s a great story and if you check it out you might see some familiar faces. Click here for the link to the show on iview. Just scroll down the page to the ‘Breaking new Ground’ story.

Photo’s below from some of the recent events.

Operation Orchid Observation

This season has just been amazing for orchids. I have taken my first obsessive and addictive steps towards finding all the orchids I can. What an experience!!

So far in the Conimbla National Park and surrounds 14 different orchids species have been found since June 2020. They are all fasinating in their own way and well worth taking the time to search for. It has been a huge learning curve and we thought you might like to see some of these amazing plants.

Anyone has a chance of finding some of these special plants and currently a few of them can be found if you go for a bushwalk along the Ironbark trail to Cherry Creek Lookout in the National Park. Others you might have to look a little bit harder for 😉

Australia has more than 1700 of the 25–30,000 species in the Orchidaceae family known globally, yet, regrettably, 25 per cent of orchid extinctions occur here. In part our species are vulnerable because they require symbiotic relationships with specific types of ‘mycorrhizal’ fungi to grow and germinate, and many are pollinated by a unique species of pollinator.

An example is the Pterostylis curta (Blunt Greenhood) in the pictures below. It is germinated by Certobasidium fungi and pollinated by Mycomya fungus gnats. Very specific requirements!!!

We would love to hear about any orchids you find in your travels. Contact midlachlanlandcare@gmail.com 🙂

Woodland Wonders

We have recently been visiting local farms looking at potential project sites for this years Box Gum grassy Woodland project. It has been wonderful to see so many groundcover species after the recent dry years. Did you know that there are over 400 plant species found across the Box Gum Grassy Woodlands range and in a good quality patch you can find between 60 and 110 species.

The groundcover plants, such as forbs, grasses and sedges make up most of this diversity and we thought you all might like to see some of the plants that have recently been seen. All of these photos have been taken by me from around our region. Enjoy!!

Feel free to send through any pictures to midlachlanlandcare@gmail.com and we can try to have them identified for you.

Seed collection complete for Glossy Project

During July and August we undertook our collection of Allocasuarina diminuta seed. The aim for this project is to grow out 1000 trees to plant on 6 local properties. Seed collection is always lots of fun and it is interesting to note that the Glossies prefer seed from certain trees. The aim was to collect from those trees the Glossies have already eaten from. Always, when seed collecting, you collect no more than 10% of the seed from a plant. There are also plenty of other rules around seed collecting especially if you are collecting within an endangered ecological community. If in doubt it is always best to check with relevant authorities. There is a short guide to seed collection here. When you are in search of the trees the Glossies have selected it’s a pretty easy task as they leave plenty of mess 🙂 Pictures below.

On our 1st trip we were extremely lucky to see 2 birds feeding quietly it was like this project was meant to happen and they were waiting to thank us for helping them. The recent drought has wiped out many of the trees they usually feed from unfortunately. Thanks to Jayden for volunteering to help with the seed collection and getting a couple of awesome photos of the Glossies.

The next step was to pop the pods into a paper bag and wait for them to open so we could then deliver the seed to the fantastic Weddin Community Native Nursery which we did on Friday 14th August. It was great to see the enthusiastic volunteers in action at the nursery and purchase a few lovely local plants for the garden while I was there. They do wonderful work at the nursery growing and preserving local species for the rest of us to enjoy. The Allocasuarina diminuta seeds have now been planted and the nursery has promised me they will call as soon as the seeds germinate. Can’t wait!!!

Weddin Community Nursery Volunteers taking on the responsibility of growing out our special trees for the Glossy Black Cockatoos.

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.

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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.