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    Southern New England Landcare has had or maintained partnerships with a few local businesses for some years. These partnerships have provided valuable but small financial contributions or other in-kind support to our core operations. However, through developing an annual Action Plan in mid 2016, and in a bid to diversify our funding sources, we identified an opportunity to boost our financial stability and long-term viability by partnering with corporate entities.

    September 2016 saw Landcarers from all over Australia coming together in Melbourne for our biggest knowledge sharing and networking event of the year: the 2016 National Landcare Conference and Awards. There was a strong New England North West NSW contingent, including four of the Regional Landcare Facilitators: Jodi Kelehear and Felicity Steel from the North West and Christine Davis and Karen Zirkler from the New England.

    Article by Des Andersen, SNELandcare Project Manager

    In 2015, Southern New England Landcare commenced a project with landholders and the wider community to provide a helping hand for the conservation of two iconic local species.

    "Quollity Koala Corridors and Questions" aims to provide a range of active and passive management tools that enable meaningful community involvement in the conservation of the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) and Spotted tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus). The project will enable us to better manage koala and quoll populations in terms of numbers and movements throughout corridors around Armidale.

    Building a fish friendly NSW – the NSW Fish Habitat Action Plan 2026

    We need your help!

    The NSW Fish Habitat Partnership seeks your feedback on how to build a fish friendly NSW.

    Click here for survey

    The NSW Fish Habitat Partnership (FHP) is developing a Fish Habitat Action Plan for NSW that will help set the direction and priorities for investment in fish habitat for the state for the next 10 years and ensure we leave a lasting legacy for future generations. More information about the Plan can be found here. Please complete the survey by 31 August 2016.

    Southern New England Landcare’s renewal phase ramps up with several new initiatives that have taken place over recent months.

    Chairman of the organisation, Mr Steve Harvey said, “Since gaining our new Local Landcare Coordinator in March this year, several exciting changes have taken place for Southern New England Landcare that mean we can better assist community members who are keen to develop or support sustainable production enterprises and ecological systems.”

    New England North West Landcare is inviting landholders, community members and groups in the Northern Tablelands to take advantage of a new round of funding. National Landcare Programme Community Grants are now open for events, training and capacity building activities that increase community resilience. Expressions of interest and applications close on Friday 7th October. For details visit New England North West Landcare, and for assistance, please call us on 02 6772 9123 or email us.

    MTG Logo

    Southern New England Landcare is set to run a second of the very successful Master TreeGrower programs in the region, starting on 27th September. Earlybird registrations close 9th September. $220 inc GST. Discounts for additional family members.

    Download the flier here and download the program hereTo book your place, go to https://www.trybooking.com/MSZF or to make enquiries, contact Shane Andrews on 042775380.

    Farming the Sun is launching a fourth community bulk-buy of solar power systems, building upon its earlier success in coordinating the installation of $6.7m worth of solar technologies during the 2008-2011 period. Read on or go to Farming The Sun for further information and to register your interest.

    The Farming the Sun solar Bulk-Buy IV was launched on 19th September and builds on previous successful installation of $6.7m worth of solar technologies during the 2008-2011 period. Read on or go to Farming The Sun for further information. To register your interest click here or contact Liz Gardiner on liz@starfish-associates.org or phone 6778 7249.

    Farm-Link together with SNELandcare, GWYMAC Landcare and local councils are providing free healthy living and suicide prevention skills for people in local communities. The format will be a short friendly workshop on ways you can support yourself and others. These are free events. Tea, coffee & light refreshments will be available for a gold coin donation.

    • Guyra - Tuesday 18th October, 10 am - 2 pm, Guyra Council Chambers, 158 Bradley ST, Guyra.  RSVP (for catering): Ruth at Southern New England Landcare by email or phone 6772 9123.

    • Bundarra - Thursday 20th October, 10 am - 2 pm, CWA Rooms, Court St, Bundarra. RSVP (for catering): Anya at GWYMAC Landcare by email or phone 6721 1241.

    • Walcha - Friday 21st October, 11 am - 3 pm, Walcha Council Chambers, 2W Hamilton St, Walcha.  Register: at http://farmlink.eventbrite.com.au

     

    IMG 7035 sylvia front

    Flight Centre Armidale is supporting SNELandcare in an exciting new partnership where a percentage of the cost of all travel or accommodation booked with Sylvia Hobbs will support our organisation! There are also group travel opportunities for our members and the local community. You don't have to be a member of SNELandcare for the benefits to flow through, so tell all your family and friends, and enable some big business dollars to flow through to our member organisation!

    The National Landcare Conference is on in Melbourne from 21-23 September and Early Bird registrations have been extended until Friday 12th August. Program and registrations at http://www.nationalandcareconference.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/2016-Program-for-WEB.pdf

    A new strain of virus could help New Zealand farmers slash rabbit numbers by up to 30 per cent.

    Read more at http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/about/news/media-releases/new-virus-to-control-rabbits

    Are you new to the area, or have developed an interest in a sustainable agriculture or natural resource management topic? Are you part of a Southern New England Landcare group that has lapsed due to seasonal circumstances or lack of help, or not had a reason to get together for a fair while?

    If, yes to any of the above, you are not alone! Our coordinators have been assisting a number of groups to get started or to get some stumps back under them. So, come join the fray and get started by:

      • having a chat with us in the office at Level 1, 119 Beardy St Armidale East Mall
      • phoning us for a chat on 6772 9123
      • emailing us

    Whatever your needs, we'll be able to help.

    Koala seen by a Landholder at Herbert ParkSouthern New England Landcare engaged specialist ecologists to survey 11 participating landholder sites for signs of our local iconic species, the Koala and Eastern Spotted-tailed Quoll. The survey was undertaken over the summer months by professional ecologist Steve Debus with assistance from PhD student Heidi Kolkert. Surveys were undertaken on the basis of tree species present (for koala food) and the occurrence of logs or rocky landscapes preferred by Quolls, along with habitat assessment, call playback, spotlighting and camera trap detection.

    Results show koalas are present on eight out of the 11 properties surveyed. The results were mostly supported by scratches and scats (droppings), although one koala was detected by call playback (a male responding to the artificial call).

    A highlight of the Moths Magpies and Marsupials project has been the two woodland bird surveys conducted during 2015.

    The aim of the project was to promote the protection of native biodiversity (especially woodland birds) and the restoration of their habitat on farms and smaller holdings across the region. This, in turn, helps improve ecosystem health and farm productivity by providing windbreaks, soil erosion control, climate change effect mitigation, and ecosystem services enhancement supplied by birds and insects.

    In December 2015 the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services announced funding for four Small Community Grants to be facilitated by Southern New England Landcare during 2016.

    The Armidale Urban Rivercare Group has $4,000, to run a community awareness day and establish another creek side planting east of Taylor Street in Armidale.  These activities continue the Group’s long term project to restore riparian vegetation along Armidale’s Dumaresq Creek.

    The Uralla Rivercare Group will revise their plans for Uralla and Rocky River Creeks with their $5,000. They will be working together with scientists and the local community to plan for future riparian works.

    Two bus trips will be run by Southern New England Landcare and InSight Ecology, using a $5,000 grant, to showcase and build landholder capacity to design, implement and manage native revegetation for woodland birds.  Tours to local properties will showcase established re-vegetation and managed woodlands which provide viable ecological services (as indicated by the birds present) to surrounding land.

    A ‘Horses for Courses’ workshop on sustainable management for grazing horses on small acreages will utilise a grant of $3,800. This workshop will target residents of peri-urban areas of Armidale, Uralla, Guyra and Walcha. The workshop will run on a Saturday towards the end of 2016, most likely in October or early November. Watch this space for more details to come.

    Peter Metcalfe on the jobPeter Metcalfe has been awarded the 2015 Southern New England Landcare Coordinator’s Choice Award. Announced at the SNELCC Christmas Party, this award acknowledges Peter for his extensive voluntary input to Landcare events and projects, and for his ongoing provision of expertise, mentoring and leadership.

    Peter’s environmental expertise is the result of a lifetime of interest. His acquired knowledge of things related to plants, birds and vegetation ecology in the New England region (not to mention other parts of Australia!) has greatly enriched the understandings of many ‘landcarers’, regardless of their affiliations.

    Mark FisherDuring December 2016, Southern New England Landcare congratulated Agricultural Science teacher Mr Mark Fisher, of New England Girls School, on winning the 2015 John Winter-Irving Memorial Bequest.

    The John Winter-Irving Memorial Bequest is for use as a study grant in the field of sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, or rural development and leadership.

    The $1250 bequest is kindly donated by Mrs Ona Winter-Irving and family, and was awarded at Southern New England Landcare’s Christmas function in Armidale.

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