Looking At Landcare (21/6/2019) – Endangered Small Purple Pea Focus of Bus Trip

Hi Landcarer’s

This week is a bit of a catch-up week on many fronts. We have been fortunate to have heaps on over the past month.

Sometimes when there is a lot happening, some stories have to get pushed aside for a later time. Often, strangely I find, when it does finally happen, it is worth the wait and your patience is rewarded.

Our meeting held on Wednesday evening was a good example. Anyone who has been involved in committees and organisations knows that sometimes a forecast meeting just doesn’t come off. Last month we had to postpone our monthly Committee meeting, just purely because there was too much on and too many commitments. Our Committee are committed to their roles, so fortunately this doesn’t happen very often.

This week’s meeting brought together a large percentage of our Committee and we were rewarded by a fantastic meeting bringing together a wonderful program for the next 12 months, including planning for (the sometimes dreaded) Annual General Meeting (AGM). I can’t wait to share it with you in the months ahead!

As with the long-awaited meeting, I also have a follow up story from a bus trip held in April. I thank our attendees for their patience. Central West Lachlan Landcare were fortunate to be able to bring an enthusiastic bus load of keen adventurers from Forbes and Parkes to visit the Burrendong Arboretum on Wednesday, 24 April. I was fortunate to spend the day with them learning as well.

This trip was made possible as a result of the funding from the Central West Local Land Services (CWLLS) Small Purple Pea (Swainsona Recta) Project, under Government’s National Landcare Program. The tour of the Arboretum was a fantastic opportunity to learn about some regional plants of significance, with a focus on The Small Purple Pea, which was once widespread in our region.

We had the opportunity to hear about the Small Purple Pea, it’s habitat and quirks from CWLLS Officer, Libby McIntyre, who has been overseeing the project across the Central West Region.

As well as being extremely pretty, the small plant that is only found seasonally, is extremely palatable to stock, hence its demise in some areas. Through the project, there have been several locations found where it is still naturally occurring, which is extremely exciting!

Burrendong Arboretum provided a tour over some of the 164 hectare property, which has one of the largest collections of Australian plants in cultivation. Adjacent to Lake Burrendong, the Arboretum has over 50,000 flowering plants, shrubs and trees. The Arboretum’s mission is to preserve and promote Australia’s unique flora. Many rare and endangered species are being grown there.

The group particularly appreciated the mint garden, the amazing Fern Gully, and, of course, the beautiful food provisions for the day, catered by the volunteers at the Arboretum.

You might wonder why specific species are targeted and much funding piped into one specific species. Here is what I know regarding this subject. It is my non-scientific and non-technical ‘take’. It is important to learn about a specific species that are endangered because it helps us understand how we can change certain practices that can inhibit or totally destroy reproduction.

Sometimes the things that we are doing that we think are positive, can actually be detrimental. The big takeaway here for me is….often when you change practices to encourage the species that is flagged as endangered etc, you see positive changes in other surrounding species that are beneficial as well.

For more information, go to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @cwllandcare.

Until next week, happy Landcaring!