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At the heart of the Barrabool Hills Landcare Group is the community. Most of our ongoing programs focus on supporting this community infrastructure so that when an opportunity arises for funding a project or alternatively we need to respond to a threat to our landscape such as the appearance of a new weed or biosecurity scare… we are ready and able to respond.
One of the ways we keep our community connected is through our bimonthly newsletter, which is delivered in printed form by our local Australia Post contractor for free to every household across the Barrabool Hills. This is an extraordinary valuable service and we are very grateful for this generosity. The fact that this document goes to every household, over 400 of them, whether they are members or not, means that the information we share is available to all. Expanded electronic copies of the newsletter are also sent to those members and friends who have provided their email contact details and are also available via this website (https://barraboolhillslandcare.org.au/category/newsletter/).
Our executive also meets bimonthly to develop our annual program which is varied and caters for the broad demographic of the region. We have heard from foresters, nurserymen, climate specialists, politicians, botanists and agency staff.
We have learnt about “horsecare through landcare”, whole farm planning, identification of weeds, propagation of native plants and agroforestry, to name just a few.
Our Field Days
Our practical field days have included integrated pest plant and animal management (the blowing up of rabbit warrens was a hit), farm water use efficiency, a farm tree expo (held with the Otway Agroforestry Network) and pasture walks to look at weeds and pasture growth
Our official landcare year culminates usually with our Annual General Meeting in August, a celebration laced with wine and cheese and featuring a guest speaker from left field. Ranging from Neville Walsh, the chief botanist from the Melbourne Botanic Gardens to the CEO of G21, Elaine Carbines and the then National Rabbit Facilitator, Mike Reid, to renowned platypus expert, Josh Griffiths.
The success of community landcare revolves around our ability to establish strong partnerships with other community groups, agencies and local businesses. The following are some of those who we value as partners.