Connecting Country AGM 26 September 2020

Connecting Country 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2.00 pm Saturday 26 September 2020, online.
Two excellent and engaging speakers: Jess Lawton (Connecting Country) on ‘Connecting Country’s ten years of ecological monitoring’ and Jacinta Humphrey (La Trobe University) on ‘The impact of urbanisation on birds’.

Bassett Creek Planting two years old

The Muckleford Landcare committee is taking ‘shifts’ to clean up the Bassett Creek planting. People are going in twos to take off the guards from our last community planting, as funded by the NCCMA. Plants are doing really well and will hopefully take the form of a corridor with the previous plantings from 16 years ago.

Landcare member, Albi, collects guards in a sheet


Muckleford Bushland Reserve

The Muckleford Bushland Reserve is public land, entry via the Muckleford School Road. If you’d like a walk, please take a bag with you so you can pick up some rubbish at the same time! It’s a shame, but people are dumping rubbish there.

There have also been some sneaky people taking home firewood…

BUT…it’s a lovely place to forage around. There are some old exclusion plots that must have been erected by a government agency, and no longer monitored or maintained. (Editor’s note: Dave tells me that they were put up by Muckleford Landcare in the early 90s). One fence is down, but the other two plots are still intact. They aren’t very high so don’t keep out roos, but they are worth looking in, to find some lovely plants in flower.



Mammal monitoring 2020

Dear Members, we have carried out the annual monitoring of the Walmer Conservation Reserve. We did this in small groups – Beth, Nev, Theo and Eleanor in the morning; and Beth, Nev, Theo and Dave in the afternoon. We’re sorry we couldn’t extend the invitation to more members, but we didn’t want to break any Covid-19 restrictions.

Here are our results for 2020:

-we checked 88 boxes on the day
-10 x Brush-tailed Possums; 1 x Brush-tailed Phascogale; 13 x Sugar Gliders; 11 x bats
-20 of the boxes contained a critter: 6 had sugar gliders, 10 had possums, 1 had a phascogale, and 3 contained bats (bat species unverified at this point)
-7 of the boxes had evidence of phascogales using them (fresh nests)
-8 of the total boxes were for pardalotes (so no activity this time of year or evidence of use)
-35 critters in total
-2 boxes had bees

Brush-tailed Possum

Brush-tailed Possum

Bats (species unconfirmed as yet)

Sugar gliders

Brush-tailed Phascogale

Land restoration activities by Landcare members

Some of you may remember a workshop we held a couple of years ago as part of our Water in the Landscape series, on the property of Landcare members, Paul and Kylie. Muckleford Landcare Vice-President, David Griffith, spoke to us about getting moisture back into the soil, and he got into his tractor and did some ploughing to show us the key line technique.

Paul and Kylie are continuing their restoration work on their Walmer property, and during the ‘lock down’ period they have: prepared a site for some revegetation on their dam; done some more key line work in a degraded section in the bush to improve hydration and aid the recovery of understorey plants; also key lined on slopes with degraded pasture to again improve hydration and promote pasture growth.

Thanks for sharing. If you are doing something on your property that you would like to share, please let Beth know via email.

Heads down, bum up

We hope everyone is getting a chance to poke around the bush and look for flowers, we have certainly been doing that when the sun is out. Keep sending me photos that you would like to share with other members, thanks, Beth.

  • Autumn Greenhoods (thanks Eleanor and Albi for this photo)
  • Inland Red-tip Greenhood (well done Nev for finding this little beauty, never found this one before)
  • Parson’s Bands (included a drawing I did for a book on flora of our Muckleford property)
  • Sprawling Bluebell (it took a lot of microscope work to identify this correctly as it’s dying now and is not the most common around here, the Tall Bluebell)

Autumn Greenhood

Inland red-tip Greenhood

Parson’s Bands

Parson’s Bands

Sprawling Bluebell

Get ready to plant

Landcare member, Dion, (Muckleford South) is using the time at home to get some plants in the ground. Call Frances at Newstead Natives or Ken at Neangar Nursery to see how they are trading during lock down.

Community Planting Success

In October last year we planted 432 plants on a property bordering the Muckleford Creek, to provide new vegetation connecting up to the riparian habitat. Six months on with so little rain, the plants are forging ahead and sticking their heads over the top of the guards. Well done Dan and Michael for keeping them alive.