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    TreesSmallFarmsFBNative vegetation provides significant benefits for domestic livestock, native wildlife and ecosystem health... even on small farms.

    Southern New England Landcare now has funding for smaller landholders in the Armidale, Guyra, Uralla and Walcha areas to plan and undertake revegetation projects that suit their individual needs, thanks to a new partnership project with the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services.

    Small properties <200 hectares are eligible and up to a total of 50% of the total project costs is available. In kind contributions from successful applicants is expected. Applications close 5pm Friday 22nd September 2017. Please call 02 6772 9123 or email us here.


    Ever wondered how you might profit from sharing the beauty or biology of your farm? Or how you might go about using your farm cottage for paying visitors? What’s this YouCamp thing? What are the options? And does it pay?

    From 5.30 - 7.30 pm on Wednesday 23rd August, our quarterly Member Muster will focus on farm-based tourism. Join us for an evening on the opportunities and challenges, with guest speakers:

    James Gresham from Glen Elgin adventuring in YouCamp.

    Lucy Frizell - Wollomombi grazier who have set up their FarmStay Waterfall Way Accommodation - with extras.

    David ThompsonRegional Development Australia.

    A Q&A session will follow.

    In addition, SNELandcare member groups will have a chance to update everyone on upcoming activities and your Local Landcare Coordinators will provide information on the latest landcare funding and project opportunities.

    All welcome - members are invited to fill up their vehicle with friends or neighbours and make the trip worthwhile!

    A light supper will be served and seating is limited so be sure to RSVP and reserve your seat soon. This is a free event. More information and bookings here.

    This event is part of the $25 million of National Landcare Programme investment to boost farm gate productivity and improve environmental health across NSW. Image courtesy of Lukas-H on Unsplash.


    On Wednesday 26 July 2017, Southern New England Landcare will host an event at the Mike O'Keefe Woodland Centre in Armidale that will draw audiences from around the New England to explore how locally manufactured scientific instruments can be used to optimise plant water use and species selection.

    Shane Andrews from Southern New England Landcare said, “Like in many other industries, agriculture is moving fast when it comes to new technologies that are changing the way we work with plants and animals.”

    “Keeping abreast of these changes is essential if we are to continue being effective,” he said.

    DigitalMasteryImageWebSmallGreg Alder, master of digital marketing and social media, was in Uralla on 29th June to run a workshop on mastering the digital platforms that are so much a part of our modern lifestyles and businesses.

    "The workshop was attended by an enthusiastic group of forward-thinking community group members and local business owners, including staff from Angus Australia, and a few local farm based tourism operators,” said Karen Zirkler, Executive Officer with Southern New England Landcare.

    digitalmarketingiconLandcare will soon host Greg Alder, master of digital marketing and social media to run a workshop in Uralla.

    The workshop will provide community groups, board members, business owners and the community in general with an opportunity skill-up in new ways to innovate, communicate, learn and share. The workshop will also help participants better-connect with their members and customers.

    On 4-5th May, Southern New England Landcare hosted the biggest event on the landcare calendar for 2017.

    The two-day event was themed ‘Farming Smarter Communities’ and showcased a number of initiatives that Southern New England Landcare sees as key to facilitating thriving, sustainable communities.

    Karen Zirkler, Executive Officer at Southern New England Landcare, was excited by the way the program came together.

    "Regenerative farming was the first topic on the program presented by Colin Seis, a farmer from the Gulgong area who has been experimenting on his own place for 30 years," Karen said.

    ImageLandArtFarm2How can art in our rural landscapes engage, inform, educate, or enable us to build identity, skills and knowledge and thrive as a community?

    This question will be the focus of Southern New England Landcare’s Member Muster in Walcha on Wednesday evening 7th June.

    Guest presenters will include Sandra Welsman, founder of ‘LandArtFarm’ near Armidale, Stephen King, artist and landcarer, and Mayor of Walcha Shire Eric Noakes who is also a long-time landcare member.

    Image courtesy of Sandra Welsman from LandArtFarm who will be presenting on the evening.

    ImageHarnhamSoilsHarnham Landcare Group hosted and subsidised a successful "Five Principles for Soil Health' day at Kentucky Hall on 9th February 2017.

    Nearly 40 people attended the day, to hear Dr Christine Jones outline how photosynthesis, microbes and diversity are all important mechanisms supporting soil health.

    Attendees came from the immediate locality as well as from the Lismore and Wallangra areas. Lively discussion put forward other ideas, helped clarify Christine's messages and made the content of the day relevant to livestock and human health, pasture management and grazing options.

    Thoughts and suggestions were forthcoming for possible follow-up events and sharing with other Landcarers in adjacent regions.

    BecSmithAwardeeWeb1Local Guyra woman and Southern New England Landcare member, Rebecca Smith took out the Individual Landcare Award at the New England Regional Landcare Awards held in Armidale on 4th May. Congratulations Bec, and we hope we can continue to support you in the fabulous work you do with the youth of our region!

    Bec is pictured (right) with presenter of the award Sally Wright (left) and Landcare Coordinator Sara Schmude.

    See an article published by the Guyra Argus about Bec here.

    KarenRhodiumNationally acclaimed authors and experts on horse property management, Jane and Stuart Myers are to deliver a seminar of value to horse owners and the environment in Armidale.

    Southern New England Landcare will host the event in the Dr Jan Milburn Room, ‘Akaroa’ Administration Building at the New England Girls School from 9am to 4pm on Saturday 20th May.

    “Participants will learn how to use the natural and domesticated behaviours of horses combined with good pasture management principals to improve and maintain their properties,” said Executive Officer with Southern New England Landcare, Mrs Karen Zirkler.

    Karen is pictured with her young gelding Rhodium Cowboy.

    LCA NE Awardees 2017More than 120 people attended a dinner at University of New England’s historic Robb College Dining Hall on Thursday night, to celebrate the efforts and achievements of Landcare award finalists from around the New England and North West regions.

    Pictured left are the awardees in the New England region with presenter, Sally Wright from Wongwibinda (left).

    New England North West Landcare’s, Mrs Stephanie Cameron, took part in the event as Chair of the host organization.

    “Last night, we celebrated the efforts and achievements of so many wonderful volunteers,” said Mrs Cameron.

    AdventureFlierVersion8HalfPicLocal community organisation, Southern New England Landcare, is preparing to host the 18th New England North West Landcare Adventure, in and around Armidale and Uralla, on 4-5th May 2017.

    The two-day event is themed ‘Farming Smarter Communities’ and will showcase a number of initiatives that Southern New England Landcare see as key to facilitating thriving, sustainable communities in the region.
    Karen Zirkler, Executive Officer at Southern New England Landcare, is excited about the way the program is coming together.

    ‘Regenerative farming is the first topic on the program and will be presented by Colin Seis, a farmer from the Gulgong area who has been experimenting on his own place for 30 years,’ Karen said.


    Recently, the board and staff at Southern New England Landcare visited Dumaresq Creek where a group of our members: school students, teachers and community volunteers had been planting all afternoon. It was a welcome break from the board meeting we had just been attending and it was a great opportunity to grab a photo.

    Pictured are Southern New England Landcare's Board and Staff. From left: Board members Bill Perrottet (Guyra), Bryan Johnston (Armidale), Karen Zirkler (Executive Officer), David Henderson (Chairman, Wards Mistake), Jill Moore-Kashima (Retreat), Bevely Stubberfield (Uralla), Stephen Harvey (Dangarsleigh), Peter Metcalfe (Dumaresq) and Sara Schmude (Landcare Coordinator). Struan Ferguson (Administration Officer) was also present on the day but not pictured.

    Southern New England Lancare welcomes you to contact us to find out more about how you can become involved.

    SNEL MOU SigningArmidale Regional Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Southern New England Landcare Ltd (SNEL). The recommendation was adopted at Council’s ordinary meeting of 1 March.

    “For many years Council has supported SNEL’s Armidale Urban Planting Maintenance Project and the Malpas Catchment Project,” said Council Administrator Dr Tiley.

    “The Memorandum of Understanding commits to a continuation of the funding towards these programs for a period up until at least the 2018/2019 financial year. It also includes financial support of the SNEL Community Resource Centre.”

    There are currently so many advances in technology and new approaches to sustainable agriculture, productive enterprises and supporting rural and regional communities. The 18th New England North West Landcare Adventure on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th May 2017 in Armidale and Uralla will be such a great place to catch up on it all!

    Download a flier here.

    Register at TryBooking. Discounts available for landcare members so sign up with your local network before booking.

    This year’s event, hosted by Southern New England Landcare, will showcase a number of leading edge activities in the region, and host the NENW Regional Awards Ceremony and Dinner.

    Nominate a local champion in the Regional Landcare Awards!

    AgroforestryPeerMentoring4Need a sounding board or some help to support your ideas & goals?

    The New England Agri-Woodland Network (NEAWN) - a subgroup of Southern New England Landcare, has an agroforestry Peer Group Mentoring project where local experienced farmers and tree-growers are available to mentor other farmers on any aspect of agroforestry. Agroforestry is about multi-purpose tree growing on farms or small acreage. Download a copy of the flier here.

    To date, more than a dozen New England landholders have taken advantage of the service, and here’s what some of them have had to say:

    “I now feel that I have a way forward and can develop a plan that will contribute to sustainability in ways that are aesthetically pleasing, adding value to the property, benefiting the environment, improving productivity and the flexibility to diversify”. Silvia Danielli, “Boolaan Burra”, Thalgarrah.

    “The suggestions and guidance of what species to try, planting locations, when and in what season to plant, as well as planting designs have all been of tremendous value”. Helen Hine and David Menzies, “Castlebrook”, Salisbury Plains.

    “The mentors passed on valuable insights about the diversity in my forest and helped me see it as a whole ecosystem. They also provided useful practical tips which filled out much of my own opinions on where to go with its management.” Rob Laurie, “Brigadoon”, Nowendoc.

    The 'Soilkee' soil renovation technique was demonstrated to a sizeable gathering during the 'site visit' component of SNELandcare's Community Muster at Guyra  on 22nd February. Participants were keen to see the 'Soilkee' machine and all reported that the presentations and field observations gave them a better understanding of the importance of stimulating soil biology and how the 'Soilkee' renovator could do this. This site visit reinforced or added to the knowledge of most participants, giving them ideas for changing or further modifying what they do, or the machinery they use, on-farm.

    More inspiration was provided in presentations from Michael Taylor and Rebecca Smith. Having received SNELandcare's 2014 John Winter-Irving Bequest Award, Michael described  his experiences and learnings from attending the Australian Forest Growers 2016 Biennial National Conference in Launceston. Michael participated in lectures and field visits by private forest growers and their industry, and presented on his family's forestry enterprises on their property. Michael felt the conference gave him a better perspective on his activities, given the scale of his enterprise relative to others, and provided him with new contacts and inspiration to take his 'next steps' in growing his forestry enterprises.

    Rebecca Smith gave an inspiring description of how she has mentored Armidale High School's Black Gully Bushcare (BC2) Group. The Group is made up of students from Yrs 7-11 who have begun regenerating the weed-infested upper reaches of Black Gully behind the Gymnastics Hall, participate as mentors at the annual Frog Dreaming Youth Conference, continue to develop the school wetland and other plantings at the school, and are looking at developing bee-friendly gardens and environmental peace activities.

    Rebecca has not only had a central role in supporting Armidale High School's students, in environmentally-responsible ways, but has previously supported students at Guyra Central School in similar ways, jointly initiated and continued to actively support the annual Frog Dreaming Youth Conference, assisted the Uralla Rivercare Group with community consultation and their creek walk, run the Discovery Program for NSW National PArks and Wildlife SErvice and supported restorative local womens' activities.

    Rebecca's active roles in community-based environmental leadership, the development of sustainable natural resource management practices among those she influences, delivering community-based Landcare education, participating in events supporting or promoting sustainable ag. and natural resource managment, as well as her commitment to excellence and leadership in 'landcare' and personal development have earned her the 2016 John Winter-Irving Bequest Award. Congratulations Bec on a well deserved award.  Southen New England Landcare trusts it will support and inspire you.

    Soilkee demo at Kenilworth Guyra 22Feb2017


    JWI Award 2016 Rebecca Smith22Feb2017


    Arding Landcare was once a thriving group but activity levels have waned over the past 5 years as a result of various factors. A wetland day at Little Llangothlin Lagoon in February 2016 gave new landholders, from near Thomas Lagoon at Arding, a chance to meet up with Southern New England Landcare and Northern Tablelands Local Land Services staff. The landholders wanted to discuss getting Arding Landcare Group activities going again and sort out ‘what next for 'Thomas Lagoon’ – an Endangered Ecological Community which has been a focus of many Arding Landcare Group activities in the past.

    In mid 2015, Southern New England Landcare almost wound up its operations. This was due to a number of factors: key staff had left the organisation, core funding was cut, project funding reduced, administrative burdens were at an all-time high, group activity was extremely low and volunteer board members were struggling to keep the organisation afloat. This case study showcases how Southern New England Landcare is‘re-birthing’ to become a more relevant organisation for its members, the community and investors.

    Have you gjoin our boardot some great ideas about where Southern New England Landcare should be headed, or how it could operate better in our region? Would you like to be more involved in Landcare activities in our region? With a bit of spare time you could be part of some inspiring events and make a significant contribution to the long-term viability of our region's productivity and ecological health by being nominated to our board of directors.

    Nominations to be on the Board of Southern New England Landcare Ltd are now open, and close on Monday 14th November 2016.

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