The Strath Creek Biodiversity Project achieved much in the two years it ran, from May 2012 to July 2014. The challenge now is to consolidate those achievements and encourage others to learn from this example. To celebrate and record these achievements we’ve put together a booklet summarizing the project’s goals, methods, partners and outcomes.
Click on the image to download an 11 MB medium resolution pdf of the booklet, or click this link for the 35 MB pdf. Hard copies of the booklet can be obtained from the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network by contacting:
- 03 57974405
Steve Joblin (Project Coordinator), Kate Auty (Guest Speaker), Ian McKaskill (Upper Goulburn Landcare), Shane Monk (Taungurung), Craig Rubenstein (Strath Creek landholder), David Wakefield (President Strath Creek Landcare), Terry Hubbard (Upper Goulburn Landcare).
The Strath Creek AGM, held recently, was also the final community event and celebration of the Strath Creek Biodiversity Project. Pictured above, the gate sign for all participating landholders is proudly displayed by Craig Rubinstein, flanked by Ian McKaskill (Project Steering Committee Chair) and David Wakefield (President, Strath Creek Landcare).
The event was busy and well attended, Continue reading
New project sites (red stars) and existing sites (yellow stars).
At its last meeting (24.1.14), the Steering Committee approved expanding the project to include an additional six sites, totaling 89 ha! This increases the total area being rehabilitated for biodiversity conservation from 140 ha to 229 ha!
This is a significant achievement for a single project being implemented in, and by, a single Landcare group. This achievement, well in excess of the original project goal, has been enabled by:
- The extensive use of corporate volunteers; this has injected in the order of $15,000 of volunteer labour into the project to date (with more to come).
- The involvement of project partners, like 15 Trees, that have donated thousands of seedlings to the project.
- The re-use of thousands of tree guards and stakes, saving the project many thousands of dollars.
- The willingness of landholders to set aside substantial areas of steep hill-country for native vegetation rehabilitation, protection and establishment – far greater than the area initially envisaged.
- The considerable commitment made by the entire project team to the smooth and efficient management of the project and perhaps most pivotal,
- The considerable capacity the Strath Creek Landcare Group and Upper Goulburn Landcare Network have developed in recent years in delivering complex, landscape-scale biodiversity projects.
Congratulations Strath Creek Landcare!
On-site at the creek inspecting project work and discussing management options.
Last Nov. 17th Strath Creek Landcare ran a combined workshop for several local catchment-health projects: the Landcare blackberry action project, our Biodiversity Fund project and the GBCMA’s waterway fencing project. The workshop examined and discussed a variety of on-ground works that the Landcare group and landholders are currently involved with. That so much is happening in this outwardly sleepy valley is a testament to this dynamic group.
As always, a tasty lunch and drink were an essential part of the day.
In early November 2013, we undertook another survey of Hidden Valley, this time focusing heavily on plants. For this, we invited along noted botanist-ecologist Doug Frood. Doug is a first-rate field botanist who we knew would confidently pick up many species that our amateur eyes would miss.
A key reason for the survey was to establish baseline knowledge of the vegetation this area supports now, so that changes the area undergoes in the next several years can be better assessed. We have taken lots of photos and have established photo-points, but we also needed more detailed knowledge of what’s actually growing. Plant species were identified as we walked through the western section of Site 4 and an area of private property adjacent to Site 4. Detailed 20 m x 20 m quadrat surveys Continue reading
Click to download
A total of 521 seedlings were planted at Sue and Joel King’s property, by 17 Strath Creek Landcarers (adults) and seven juniors in 2 and 1/2 hours on a windswept slope, slippery with capeweed. Another three Landcarers were doing a fantastic job of catering, which in this case meant gourmet pizzas in the wood fired pizza oven! Joel and Sue now have 20 seedlings left to plant out of 1,000 allocated to this site by the Strath Creek Biodiversity Project. In September, the ridge top will be mechanically direct seeded.
Stakes and guards were recycled from revegetation projects the King’s have undertaken in previous years. This slope will now benefit from the fencing previously completed by the Project to lock out stock. The only browsing animals now present are the local Kangaroos. With a bit of capeweed control where possible over the next few weeks, the struggling remnant wallaby grass should begin to recover and form a good cover on the ridge top. Continue reading
NAB Corporate Volunteers enjoying a break.
Eighteen National Australia Bank Corporate Volunteers arrived at the Hubbard shearing shed for a morning cuppa. This was the second Corporate Volunteer planting day in Hidden Valley this season. And it appears to be the Battle of the Banks; a small group of ANZ volunteers planted 230 seedlings at this site a month ago and now it was time to see what the NAB volunteers could achieve.
The plan was to take the group all the way to the top of the hill and plant some of the higher ripped areas in this project site, but the previous day’s rainfall was enough to make it too risky to drive in this hill country; one of the volunteers even bogged his own vehicle before the day even got underway. Continue reading
NAB volunteers at King’s.
Planting has begun on another of our projects sites. Susan & Joel King have a long, narrow 6.2 ha site that was fenced last November and has now had about half it’s 1000 seedlings planted. As well as seedlings, planted on the steeper slopes (image at left and below), there’ll be direct seeding on the upper slope and ridge-line a little later in the season.
All indigenous seedlings planted at this and all project sites are grown locally, from seed collected in the district. Twenty-five different species were planted during this session.
Seedlings planted included (@ 20% canopy species):
Acacia verticillata Prickly moses
A. mearnsii Black wattle
A. dealbata Silver wattle
A. genistifolia Spreading wattle
A. verniciflua Varnish wattle
A. leprosa Cinnamon wattle
A. acinacea Gold dust wattle
A. implexa Lightwood
A. paradoxa Hedge wattle Continue reading