Latest email newsletter from the Christmas Hills Landcare Group
Christmas Hills Landcarers
This newsletter is to update you with news and events related to Christmas Hills Landcare.
Included in this newsletter:
1. Next event -"Paddock and pasture management for those who keep horses, sheep or cattle in Christmas Hills - 21st February"
Our next Landcare event is coming up on Sunday, 21st February, at Deb's place. This event is aimed at people who keep horses, sheep or cattle in Christmas Hills. Experts in small rural property management from the Department of Primary Industries will cover aspects of:
attached flier for more details.
(Note: Nillumbik Shire is also running a 'Pasture Management and Restoration' information session with pasture expert, Kathy Junor, on Saturday, 20th March - venue to be confirmed. For more details please refer to the Nillumbik Environmental Events Program February-July 2010 referred to in item 7 below)
2. Christmas Hills Landcare targeted rabbit control program
The Christmas Hills Landcare Group has managed to secure some funds from the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA), Trust for Nature, and the Shire of Nillumbik for a rabbit control program. To be effective, rabbit control needs to integrate a number of different control techniques at different times, and be undertaken over a large area typically involving several properties. We have chosen to focus the rabbit control on a targeted area for use of these funds. Subject to further funding and an evaluation of the program’s success in the targeted area, we hope to extend the control program further.
Using the information collected from the weed and warren mapping project, we have selected an initial target area of approximately 500 hectares. It was chosen based on three factors – the concentration of properties that participated in the mapping project, the proximity to natural assets such as creeks or native vegetation, and the concentration of rabbit warrens and blackberry infestations (rabbit harbour)
The program will:
1. Monitor rabbit numbers using spotlight counts before and after the program
2. Reduce rabbit numbers through a mix of ferreting (best from March to January); coordinated baiting with pindone oats and bait stations to exclude kangaroos, wallabies and wombats (best done from January to March); and warren fumigation using a qualified contractor (best between June and January)
3. Remove rabbit harbour (shelter) by using a qualified local weed contractor to spray blackberries (best from November to March)
4. Destroy rabbit warrens by using a skilled mini excavator operator to rip warrens where sensitive access is available (or manually in other cases) (best in January and February)
Landholders in the target area have been sent a letter outlining the program, and inviting them to return a form indicating which aspects of the program they wish to participate in. If you have received one of these letters, wish to participate, but have not yet returned the form, please do so asap as works for the blackberry spraying and warren ripping contractors are currently being scoped.
Of the 60 or so properties in the target area, about one third are owned by Melbourne Water and we will be meeting with representatives to determine what can be done on these properties to contribute to the overall program.
We are also planning to hold a Landcare event later in the year to demonstrate different rabbit control methods, including ferreting, warren destruction, and construction and use of the bait stations. (Note: the shire is also running a rabbit control information session on the 10th March - see item 6 below)
3. Christmas Hills Community Planning meeting - Tuesday, 16th February
The Christmas Hills Interim Bushfire Recovery Consultative Group, Nillumbik Shire Council, and the Victorian Bushfire Recovery and Reconstruction Authority invite you to participate in a whole of community planning meeting. The aim of this meeting is to outline a process to converge the ideas and priorities from all areas in Christmas Hills for our long term vision in unifying, strengthening and restoring our community. The meeting will present current projects and aspirations as an introduction to the process but also seeks new ideas, respecting that householders and neighbourhood groups will have different visions and needs.
This meeting will start at 7:00pm on Tuesday, 16th February in the Blue Wren Hall at the Christmas Hills Primary School, Eltham-Yarra Glen Road.
For further details please contact: Ben Pollard, Coordinator Community Planning, Nillumbik Council, ph: 9433 3310; email: ben.pollard@
nillumbik.vic.gov.au or members of the Interim Recovery Consultative Group at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an important opportunity to share and integrate our various aspirations for Christmas Hills and its community - seize it!
4. Watsons Creek Biolink Project - information session - Thursday, 18th February
The Watsons Creek Biolink Project is part of the Parks Victoria Fire Recovery Program and is focussed on an area of land in Christmas Hills (south of Marshalls Road) that Parks Victoria acquired in 2006.
98% of Kinglake National Park was burnt during the fires of February 7th 2009, and the One Tree Hill Reserve and Watsons Creek area provides a vital link for wildlife between the Kinglake and Warrandyte Parks.
The Biolink project aims to revegetate with native seedlings a piece of land that is mostly cleared and was previously used for agricultural purposes. By extending and reconnecting native vegetation and wildlife habitat across the local landscape it is hoped that native fauna will be more able to move between Kinglake National Park and Warrandyte State Park, and even encourage the return of some species, particularly the threatened Brush-tailed Phascogale (also known as a Tuan).
The project aims to plant around 50,000 seedlings, and Parks Victoria are keen to engage the community in this project.
During a six week period (1st May - 13th June 2010), Parks Victoria are offering volunteers the opportunity to plant many of these seedlings on the site. Volunteers can elect to participate on any day during this period, but to meet supervision requirements numbers will be limited to 30 people per day. It is expected that volunteers would be available from 9.30am to at least 2.30pm on any particular day. It is likely that volunteers will need to register their interest in the days the wish to be involved.
Approximately 40,000 seedlings will be planted within 30 fenced plots (each about 30m x 30m) and 10,000 seedlings will be planted outside of these plots. Parks Victoria will pre-prepare each plot with deer (and kangaroo) exclusion fencing, soil-ripping, weed-spraying and mulching.
The site has no facilities, so participants will be required to bring all their own food and water requirements for the day. They will also need hat, sunscreen, gloves, raincoat etc. A portable toilet will be provided on site for participants.
An outdoor community meeting will be held at 8:00pm on Thursday 18th February at the end of Marshalls Road (Melways 266 J1) to inform interested local community members of Parks Victoria's plans and to encourage wide community involvement in the project. The meeting will be followed by a spotlighting walk for those who are interested (please dress for the conditions and bring a torch if staying for the spotlight walk)
Some preliminary discussions have been held about the idea of 'booking' one or more planting days, complete with lunch catering, for exclusive participation for Christmas Hills residents as a community building exercise. More details to follow as they come to hand.
5. Landcare precinct at the 2010 Sustainable Living Festival - Friday 19th February - Sunday 21st February
The Victorian Landcare community is coming to the city as part of the 2010 Sustainable Living Festival from Friday 19th February to Sunday 21st February at Federation Square. The Sustainable Living Festival will showcase a wide range of exhibitors, talks, workshops, art, films and performances celebrating and inspiring sustainable communities, and Landcare groups from across Victoria will fill 10 marquees to form the Landcare Precinct at the Festival. Each marquee will have a different theme, namely:
Urban Landcare – examples of successful urban Landcare and Friends of groups
For more information visit: http://festival.slf.org.au/
6. Nillumbik/Banyule Rabbit Control Information Session - Saturday, 10th March
To help residents control rabbits, Banyule City Council and Nillumbik Shire Council invite you to an information session on rabbit control. Topics will include:
Edendale Farm Community Environment Centre, Gaston’s Road, Eltham (Melway 21
A1) When: 10am –1pm; Saturday 13 March 2010
A light lunch will be served. There is no cost, but please book by calling Georgia Ramsey on 9433 3210. If you have any questions about the session please call Jackie Waring from Nillumbik Shire Council on 9433 3214.
7. Nillumbik Environmental Events Program February - July 2010
Nillumbik Shire has recently released its program of environmental events for February to July, 2010. It is available to download at: http://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Page/page.asp?Page_Id=382&h=0
8. "Seeding the Future - seed collection and cleaning for Friends, Landcare and Gardeners" DVD available
The Christmas Hills Landcare Group has recently received a copy of a DVD titled
"Seeding the Future - seed collection and cleaning for Friends, Landcare
and Gardeners". This DVD is designed to equip individuals and groups with
basic seed collection knowledge and techniques. It covers techniques specific
to particular plant groups, and is presented by Judy Allen, an experience
propagation manager at the Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Cooperative nursery
If you would like to borrow the DVD, please contact me (Doug) on ph: 9730 2626; or email: email@example.com
(Note: Nillumbik Shire is also running a 'Propagating Indigenous Plants from Cuttings' workshop on Saturday, 1st May at Edendale Farm, Eltham. For more details please refer to the Nillumbik Environmental Events Program February-July 2010 referred to in item 7 below)
Christmas Hills Landcare Membership - renew in 2009/10 to show support
Joining the Christmas Hills Landcare Group is an important way to demonstrate your support and ensure you are kept informed of news and activities. Membership for the first year is $20.00 and gets you a group member gate sign, after that it is $10.00 per year. Memberships run from 1st July to 30th June each year, and the list of current 2009/10 members is:
and Jane Russ
Doug Evans and Pip Charlton
Jan Cranwell and Phil Styles
Rob Shackleton and Linda Joyce
Liz and Peter Laver
Tony and Brigid Bell
Garry and Mandy Lovell
Nicole Noy and Ross Coupar
Douglas and Helen Bell
Kevin and Margot Heeley
Nev Ragg and Janet Meade
Chris and Tina Keene
Darren Bennett and Vanessa Reid
Fran and Graham Jennings
Richard and Margie Forster
If your name is not on this list, and you recall paying a renewal fee relatively recently, please note that some membership renewals for the 2008/09 year were paid late in the membership year (some as late as June) and this may explain the absence of your name from the list.
We would appreciate your continued support in the form of a $10 membership renewal payment (or $20 if it is your initial membership) Please pay Rob Shackleton if you see him, or send a cheque made out to "Christmas Hills Landcare Group" to P.O. Box 274, Yarra Glen, 3775.
Christmas Hills Community newsletter - January/February edition
For the latest news on the Hall upgrade, Primary school, Fire brigade, and Landcare check out the latest edition of Christmas Hills News at:
For more information on Christmas Hills Landcare please visit: http://portphillipwesternport.landcarevic.net.au/Christmashills
40 Dean Road