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
This 28 ha valley will be rehabilitated with funding from the Australian Government; one of the new project sites.
In mid-December two project staff (Steve Joblin & Bertram Lobert) toured several of the existing project sites, as well as a couple of the newly proposed project sites.
The object of the tour was to assess revegetation, direct seeding and natural regeneration progress at several of the newly fenced and planted sites and to undertake inspections of the sites recently added to the project.
One of the new project sites is part of a broader landscape-scale, private property rehabilitation project that has been running for several years. The property sits on the Yea Spur and the owner aims to rehabilitate its many hundreds of hectares of steep, cleared land over the next few decades. Funding from this project will expand the area treated on this property this year by 28 ha. Continue reading
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.
The King site, like most in this project, is generally steep so that most revegetation is done by hand. However, the site has a flat to undulating ridge-line, perfect for direct seeding and that’s just what Janet and Justus Hagen got up to a few weekends ago. Here you can see their direct seeding machine being pulled behind their 4WD, scalping the ground where seed is then sown. Direct seeding usually occurs when soil temperatures have warmed enough for the seeds to begin germinating (in theory), though some seeds may not germinate for months or even years – waiting for just the right conditions.
In this case the direct seeding was supplementing the ground layer of native grasses and some herbs and the scattered grey box trees. You can find other site pics here and here and here.
Looking NE along the ridge-line and the nearly finished direct seeding job. New site boundary & fence-line to the left and white tree guards on the steeper slopes to the right.
Later that day, Project Officer Steve Joblin dropped into another of the project sites to check on progress. The Granter site had previously had roof-habitat tiles placed near the location of a Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar) record (in Nov. 2012). This species is Nationally Threatened and had not been recorded in this district prior to the start of this project. These tiles had been checked on a number of occasions during the year for small skinks etc, but no more legless lizards had been found. However on this day, Steve was lucky! Though the stripes were not as clear as on a previous individuls, it was non-the-less a Delma impar and further proof that the site supports a population of these special animals.
Bougainville’s Skink (Lerista bougainvillii)
Garden Skink (Lampropholis guichenoti), a very common skink across Victoria.
Striped Legless Lizard with indistinct stripes and tell-tale yellow cheeks.
Same individual Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar).
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
John Hamilton’s dozer ripping the SW facing slope.
The 6.3 ha Granter site was fenced back in Feb 2013 and now it’s being prepared for planting. John Hamilton’s dozer creates three rip-lines up to 500mm deep with each pass. These rip-lines will allow newly planted seedlings to quickly get their roots deep into the rocky ground, as well as capture and store rainfall that may otherwise have run-off (see below for additional comments). It’s a strategy that, if carried out well, has few disadvantages and can give seedlings a big advantage in their first few years. 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