Stories beneath our feet

Stories beneath our feet: exploring the geology and landscapes of Victoria and surrounds by Leon Costermans and Fons VandenBerg is a 660 page hard cover book explaining the geological origins of the diverse landscapes in southeastern Australia. It examines the stories behind the landforms, rock types and life-forms, and is intended for land managers, teachers, students, ecologist and naturalists. It retails for $82 in bookshops or online at Muckleford Books.

Muckleford Landcare members can get free delivery if they email Muckleford Books and pay by direct debit.

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Wildflower Walk

It was a beautiful morning for our wildflower walk in the forest near Gower. Thanks to Eleanor for organising, and thanks to Eleanor and to Paul for helping with plant identification. We had 28 people attend, many taking photographs and enjoying the fields and fields of flowers. It was lovely to see new members, and we look forward to our next get together on 6th November for the annual bike ride!

Connecting Country Sticky Beak Tour Launch this Saturday 8th October 2022

Book now! The Mount Alexander region Landcare sticky beak tour is a celebration of Landcare and friends groups across the region! Many of the natural spaces you can experience in our beautiful region have been lovingly brought back to life and cared for by the incredibly dedicated network of Landcare and friends groups of the region.

The Landcare sticky beak tour provides an opportunity for local Landcare and environment groups to showcase their work both online over the month of October 2022, and in person at the launch on Saturday 8 October 2022 at Honeycomb Reserve (end of Honeycomb Rd), Campbells Creek VIC from 10.00 am to 12 noon.

https://www.trybooking.com/CCUIK

Biking to Maldon this Sunday

The count down is on…find a bike, dust it off, check your tyres and chain, and meet us at the Muckleford train station this Sunday 3rd April at 11am.

We will ride to Maldon, and partake in hot chips on the grounds of the Maldon Visitor Information Centre, before slowly riding back to Muckleford! (We are no longer going to the pub as we had to pre-book and pre-order and pre-pay for our meals which was all too hard.)

Bring a friend, bring a picnic, bring a drink bottle and see you PROMPTLY at 11am. If you’re late, you’ll have to catch up with us! Please RSVP to Beth.

Connecting this Country course

A practical one day a week (Tuesdays) course that enables participants to develop more meaningful connection to the Victorian Central Goldfields on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. Participants will learn indigenous world views and nature connection, along with applied skills in land management, ecological restoration, plant weed and animal identification, regenerative living, carbon reduction, resilience and food systems. Presented in collaboration by five local organisations including: Castlemaine Commons, Connecting Country, Nalderun Education Aboriginal Corporation, Castlemaine Institute and the Maldon Neighbourhood Centre.

The 8 weeks will cover a mix of visits to country, information, introductions and skills including:
· Introduction day at Leanganook
· Landcare – Connecting Country 
· Climate and Resilience Friends of the Earth & Castlemaine Institute
· Reading local landscapes: the layers of geology, ecology and landuse – Castlemaine Institute
· Living Simply
· Local food systems
· Tour with Aboriginal Elder, Nalderun Aboriginal Education Organisation
· Bush walk overnight – morning bird chorus and closing

Tuesdays – Term 2 Starting 3rd May for 8 weeks
$750 Full / $550 Concession / $350 Subsistence.

Information sessions – 26th April:
Maldon 2pm
Castlemaine 6pm

For registration contact Maldon Neighbourhood Centre, info@maldonnc.org.au and 5475 2093 and
Enrolment form here: https://www.maldonnc.org.au/whats-on/life-long-learning
For more information contact Castlemaine Commons, Natalie Moxham natalie@leanganookyarn.com and 0448 372 466 

Let’s ride!

Can you believe it, the Muckleford Landcare bike ride is back! And we’re early (can’t wait until November). Following two years of cancellations, we are going ahead with the ride in April.

SUNDAY 3RD APRIL 2022, 11am, meet at the Muckleford train station. We will ride to Maldon for lunch, and return home via the Castlemaine-Maldon bike trail. I will make a booking at the Kangaroo Hotel for lunch, so please RSVP me with numbers. Ride with your family, bring a friend, or come by yourself and meet some Landcare people.

Please call Beth Mellick on 0431219980 or email me.

Climate-proofing planting in Muckleford

For over 20 years Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group have been designing plantings with climate change patterns in mind, and encouraging local landowners to consider the advantages of planting a wide range of species and provenances from many bio regions of Eastern Australia. 

Within the community there have been government-funded plantings, including riparian restoration and habitat corridors, as well as some tens of thousands of rehabilitation plantings by members of the Muckleford Landcare group.

Elli Wellings and David Mallard purchased their 100-acre property in Walmer a few years ago, which was once used to graze sheep. They immediately did two things – reached out to the local community, and joined their local Landcare group.

As a first step, Elli and Dave made an effort to seek out expert advice about landscape function and plant selection in order to better understand the land they had in front of them, and what they could do to improve it. 

It was not viable to have stock, and the couple’s long term vision was for the land to be restored. “We could see how the stock has impacted on the existing vegetation” said David. Ellie’s father is a bush regenerator in NSW so she understands how worthwhile it is to bring back native animals to a degraded landscape.

Over the past 12 months Dave and Elli have transformed their property, with the help of landscape restoration practitioner and Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group Vice President, David Griffiths. Together, they put in 6,500 plants on 10 acres as part of a farm forestry enterprise. Then came revegetation of an old paddock with a further 2,500 native plants to create a wildlife corridor between two dams. This corridor contains 20 species from wide-spaced trees to middle/understory plants, with a dynamic species provenance selection.

David and Ellie have spent nearly $50,000 to restore their new property and plant their forest. They are a glowing example of the type of tree-changers that add value to our Landcare movement.

Ellie and David