Looking At Landcare – 2/6/2017

Hi Landcarer’s

Well, the early morning frosts have certainly brought us back to the reality of winter being upon us.

There is always an upside to frosts. Usually, I can look forward to some gorgeous sunshine in the day ahead. It might still mean that we have a cool day, but nice to have the sun out working its winter magic. Frosts can also have an impact on pests and diseases in the garden after enjoying happy times in the warmer weather. It can break the breeding cycle of some pests and impact weeds etc, so it’s not all bad.

I can hear all the summer lovers groaning…just one more positive….it makes you appreciate spring even more when it eventually arrives!

Speaking of gardening…are you part of a school community that have been thinking about putting in a new garden? Landcare Australia and Yates partner to offer grants for 15 fun, hands-on garden projects that will help young people learn about gardening, sustainability and our natural environment.

The Junior Landcare Grants for Gardens funding is open now and applications close on Thursday, 29 June at 5pm. These grants are open to schools, childcare centres and youth groups across Australia. There are 15 grants on offer, consisting of $1,500 in funding, $500 of Yates garden products and a consultation with a Yates gardening expert to really help bring the project to life.

You need to design your dream garden and send the design. Grants will be awarded to the most creative, sustainable and environmentally conscious entries. There are some fantastic examples of some of the previous recipients.

Applications are lodged online through the Landcare Australia Communities Portal. To find it, just look up Landcare Australia or the links are on our website, Facebook or Twitter.

It was a pleasure to be part of the Small Landholdings Workshop in Forbes last Saturday. This was a good opportunity to hear from many local service providers, including the Community Garden, Local Government and State Government organisations and nice to have some new Landcarers join us as well.

This workshop gave attendees an opportunity to gain some clarification on some of the responsibilities that go with owning land and stock and make links with the people that provide these services. Thanks to the Central West Local Land Services for initiating the workshop.

I was pleased to join the Lachlan Valley Branch of the National Parks Association at an evening with Michael and Sarah Guppy on Wednesday. Michael gave an overview of the monitoring and reporting that the couple of done and also talked about how they were able to compare the data from their surveys between 2007 – 2014, with the data collected by Sarah’s father, Stephen Marchant, between 1975 – 84. In anyone’s language, the amount of monitoring that they have undertaken was mammoth!

With the bird breeding season being predominantly August to January each year, the couple did intensive monitoring during the study, which included trapping, catching and banding birds, studying and checking nests to monitor laying and losses.

By the end of the 2011/12 breeding season, they had monitored at least 500 nests over five seasons and half had failed due to predation and they still knew nothing about predators, although it was obvious that predation was an issue, so they set up cameras to monitor the site with surprising results.

I took away two points of interest to think about: the impact that animals such as reptiles, small mammals and other birds have on nest predation as opposed to feral cats and foxes (the usual suspects); and, if birds are nesting before they know what the season ahead will bring, can their decisions be based on the Southern Oscillation Index.

If you are keen to hear more about the talk, join the NPA group for their walk at Black Range on Saturday, 3 June. Meet opposite the Bogan Gate Hotel at 9am. Please ring walk leader, Peter Cannon on 6866 1225 the evening before to confirm arrangements. Please bring enough food and water for the day as well as suitable clothing, footwear, hat and sunscreen.

For further information and links to further information in this article, please click on the links above or go to our facebook page.

Until next week, happy Landcaring!