Leave the roadsides alone!

“The roadside which is bare of anything but the natural grasses, herbs and a sporadic shrub or two is much more interesting and refreshing than any artificial planting reflecting the suburban road or city street…” (Edna Walling, 1952)

Here is some advice for new and existing landowners in Muckleford – if you move to the bush, if you live in the bush, then leave the bush alone. The roadside vegetation is a valuable part of the ecosystem and contains precious and sometimes endangered plant species. If you remove this vegetation, you will open up the ground to weeds and grass that you will constantly have to maintain. Rather than planting exotics, consider enhancing the existing vegetation with some small flowering native shrubs and herbs.

Here is what you shouldn’t do!!

Planting Peas on our properties

Native Peas are beautiful shrubs and ground covers to consider planting more of – we can add them into garden beds for a spot of native colour.

We’ve put together a list of the rarer species that we need to try and bring back from the brink of extinction, as well as a list of other species that grow in the Muckleford/Walmer area.

Put in your order for next year from Francis at Newstead Natives https://newsteadnatives.wordpress.com

For a comprehensive guide to peas in our area, buy the book “Native Peas of the Mount Alexander Region” from Friends of the Box Ironbark Forests for $10 ($3 postage) https://www.fobif.org.au

Fire for Healthy Country: Djandak Wi

Interested in learning how can fire help us create healthy Country? What kind of fire? Used when, how and by whom?

Head over to the Talking Fire website to find out more about the latest project and upcoming workshops. 

Talking Fire is partnering with Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation to create opportunities for our community to deepen and transform our understanding of how to care for our local landscape. Djaara knowledge and experience will be shared through a practical experience of using fire as a way of caring for Country.

Together we want to enhance biodiversity, build community awareness and confidence in the use of fire, support new land holder skills, address community safety, and support Djaara in increasing their capacity to apply Djandak Wi to public and private land. A big agenda!

The project will be structured around three on-Country workshops – the first workshop is 14 August. Head over to Talking Fire to find out more.

To get updates, follow the Talking Fire website (talkingfire.org), Talking Fire on Facebook, or drop us a line at newsteadtalkingfire@gmail.com.

Annual Nest Box Monitoring

It was a beautiful sunny Autumn day in which we found ourselves checking the nest boxes on the Walmer South Nature Conservation Reserve. Six of us got the job done in just under three hours. We have a total of 89 boxes but only 77 are for mammals, including bats. The other boxes are for pardalotes and owlet nightjars which are not a part of our monitoring program.

The number of critters seen were down on last year, with a total of 25 – 4 x Brush-tailed Possums, 12 x Sugargliders, and 9 x bats. Although we didn’t see any Brush-tailed Phascogales, there were 7 fresh nests in the boxes giving us an indication of occupation this season.

Annual nest box monitoring

Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group will carry out its annual nest box monitoring at the Walmer South Nature Conservation Reserve (Muckleford-Walmer Road) on SUNDAY 23RD MAY 2021, 10am start.

Join us to monitor our 88 boxes, and wander around the reserve. The event will be cancelled in bad weather and no food or drink will be supplied. Wear sturdy footwear and bring your own drink bottle.

Call Beth if required 0431219980.

Autumn Greenhood Orchids

Have a look around your properties for the Autumn Greenhood Orchid – there is some flowering happening right now, but we suspect that more will come out once we get some rain.

Here are some photos we took at the Walmer Nature Conservation Reserve. Congratulations to Landcare member Richard for being the one to spot the only two orchids we could find!

(taken by Richard)
(taken by Beth)
(taken by Bronwyn)

Walmer Walk

Lovely morning for a quick walk around the Walmer Nature Reserve (Foggarty’s Gap Road end of the Muckleford-Walmer Road) this morning, Sunday 18th April, 10am. Interesting reserve, largely untouched by weeds, but will it yield any Autumn Greenhood Orchids? See you there.

Autumn orchid hunt

Join Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group for a hunt for the Autumn Greenhood – Sunday 18th April 2021, 10am, at the Walmer Nature Conservation Reserve.

This reserve is on the Muckleford-Walmer Road, but is a different reserve to where our nest boxes reside, it’s further down the road, (NOT the Walmer South Nature Conservation Reserve). We’ll have some flags and signs out the front, but it’s at the Foggerty’s Gap Road end.

Nothing is provided, so just come along for a wander in the bush together so we can find some orchids.