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    Latest News

    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.

    Charlie CarruthersDuring March 2016, Southern New England Landcare has welcomed Mr Charlie Carruthers to their team of dedicated staff. Charlie comes to Landcare with an Applied Science degree and 15 years’ experience in natural resource management.

    Southern New England Landcare’s Executive Officer, Mrs Karen Zirkler, said, “The breadth and depth of Charlie’s professional experience will enable him to successfully undertake the position of Landcare Coordinator very competently, and we are all looking forward to having him on board.”

    “Mr Carruthers has worked for both State Government departments on large scale projects, and as an independent consultant,” she said.

    “I have delivered several aquatic habitat planning and rehabilitation projects, a highlight of which were two years as the Native Fish Strategy Coordinator for southern NSW and the ACT,” said Mr Carruthers.

    Landcare NSW is proud to announce that Executive Member and Secretary, Steph Cameron, has been awarded Local Woman of the Year by Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson.

    Steph was invited to Parliament House to receive her award this week and is pictured with Kevin Anderson. The award recognises Steph’s leadership in her local community and her many years of dedication to Landcare at the local, regional and state level.

    Congrats Steph! It’s great to see your contribution recognised.

    Southern New England Landcare is excited to launch it's brand new website on 1st April 2016.

    After the board gave their approval to overhaul the dated site in February, the team have been working with Web Design Domain to provide a fresh new look, and a stack of new features to the site.

    "Regular users will notice a number of new features, including fast access to details about up-coming events, as well as the ability to update and renew their membership online," said Southern New England Landcare's Executive Officer Mrs Karen Zirkler.

    "Users will find fantastic information about the valuable work of the Landcare volunteers in our region, with details about major projects past and present, the activities of our local groups, and useful resources and links to helpful sites," she said.

    "For our local farmers, there is also a quick link to 3-day weather forecasts," she said.

    If you need help navigating your way around the new site, or if you notice a 'glitch' that needs tweeking, please contact us so we can make your experience at our site even better!

    Diamond FiretailOur amazing native wildlife has needs that are not very different from our own, after all we’re animals too, something we often forget!  Just like us our native wildlife also require a house to live in. But just having shelter is not enough, a point made by Darryl Kerrigan in the iconic Australian comedy The Castle when he exclaimed 'It's not a house, it's a home'.  But what makes a house a home?  It’s not enough to have four walls and a roof, we also need furniture, heating and of course food.

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    Do you have a project that could benefit from a grant? Would you neighbours like to particpate?

    Our Landcare Coordinator can help develop project ideas, action plan next steps, and source funding!

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