The Callignee/Traralgon South Landcare Group’s spray unit is available for anyone in the district to borrow for weed control purposes. It has a 400 litre tank and two spray hoses that have a reach of about 70m. Get in now and spray your Blackberry and other weeds this year, for more information about borrowing the spray unit or if you want advice on Blackberry and woody weed control, contact the Central Gippsland Woody Weeds Action Group (CGWWAG)
Do you have some bushland on your property and are curious to know what wildlife might be around? As part of this Bushfire Recovery Project we are using remote cameras to get an idea of what animals have survived or recolonised the burnt areas. At this stage (after about a month of filming) we have recorded species such as Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies and Wombats as well as Foxes (unfortunately widespread) and Rabbits. We are very keen to move our cameras around and hopefully get some evidence of some smaller marsupials thriving such as Bandicoots and Bush Rats, or even get some snaps of a Strzelecki Koala. Get in contact with us at email@example.com if you are interested in borrowing a camera to use in your patch of bush.
If you have an environmental project in mind, there is often a number of ways to source funding in order to turn your idea into reality.
For individuals landholders the best way to source funding is to join your local landcare group (i.e. Traralgon South/ Callignee Landcare Group). The Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network offers grants of up to $5,000 for its group members as part of its Latrobe Catchment Biolinks Strategy. For further details contact the Network on 1300 094 262 or email to:firstname.lastname@example.org
For community groups both the state and federal governments offer Grants for community groups for up to $50,000. The Application period for both these grants have recently closed but they generally become available on an annual basis.
A weed workshop was recently held at the Callignee Hall where participants were treated to a BBQ meal followed by presentations from Latrobe Landcare Network Co-ordinator Peter Newgreen and Bob Wilson from the Department of Primary Industries.
Key messages on the night included the following tips
- Weeds have a number of adverse affects on a range of things including, productivity, stock health, impact on native flora and fauna.
- It is vitally important to be able to identify the weed you are a dealing with and know about its life cycle.
- Annual species will only last one season, new plants will only grow by seed. They key to their control is to stop the plants producing and releasing seed.
- When Perennial plants die off on top, they may still have a healthy root system that is likely to re-sprout. To control them you need to kill the whole plant.
- Some species can reproduce vegetatively (e.g by fragments of stem, root or leaf) ploughing in or slashing these species can drastically increase their spread.
- Learing some basic information about plant classification can make it easier to identify weeds. Certain features of a plant can you quickly narrow down the possibilities of what the exact species of weed could be.
- The best way to control weeds is to stop them becoming established in the first place. Key sites to check for new infestations are along watercourses and drainage lines, as well as sites where introduced fodder has been spread, along roadways and traffic areas and around stock camps.
- Integrated Pest Management – (Where a variety of actions are taken to control a weed. e.g use a variety of types of suitable herbicides, good pasture management etc are undertaken) is vital otherwise weeds are likely to become resistant to your control method.
- People tend to notice weeds that are Yellow (e.g. Ragwort) or Purple (e.g. Pattersons Curse) but they don’t pay enough attention to grasses. People need to be vigilant for serious weeds such as Serrated Tussock and African Love Grass.
- Identification of weeds can be difficult, especially as some features used for identification of the plants are not always present e.g flowers/seed pods. If in doubt samples can be taken in to your local DPI office.
- The worst established weeds in the district are Blackberry, Ragwort and there are some patches of Patterson’s Curse. Worst areas for weeds tend to be along watercourses and gullies.
- There is a need for an ongoing education campaign for landholders especially ones that are new to the area and are not aware of the implications of allowing weeds on their property to continue to spread. Landcare can play a big part in this.
Native shelterbelts can be a great addition to a property and can provide multiple benefits both for the productivity and health of your property as well as providing habitat and links for wildlife. There are numerous resources on how best to design shelterbelts and help is always available from your local Landcare network. Design considerations include where best to site the belt to maximise its value and effectiveness. Shelterbelts can also be designed to help protect property from fire, if they are planned strategically they can be effective in slowing wind speed and filtering out burning embers from the air. Planting with indigenous (local native) species offer advantages over using exotic species like Cypress, which can be toxic to stock, offer little habitat value and not as effective at slowing down the wind. More information can be found in the following brochure that is available here or by contacting Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network.
The steep land in some parts of this district have always been vulnerable to erosion especially when the original forest vegetation has been cleared. Immediately following the bushfires soils were very exposed and with the lack of protection rainfall events caused extensive gully and streambank erosion. Wet seasons since 2009 have resulted in other issues particularly
an increase in landslip activity. Many projects addressing erosion have been carried out by landholders since the fires, works have included fencing out and revegetation of waterways, planting trees on steep slopes and gullies as well as using logs and rocks to stablilise areas of extensive erosion. Your local Landcare group can provide advice and assistance if you have erosion issues that need addressing on your property. Phone 1300 094 262 for further information.