Farm Water Field Day

27 April 2019

“Murnong” Inverleigh

Regarded as one of the best events our Group has ever organised,  Josh Walter, Manager of Murnong Farm, hosted the BHLG April Field Day on farm water sources and conservation. There was considerable interest from the 30 strong audience and the five speakers were first class – they knew their stuff and related well to the audience.

Clem Sturmfels from AgVic talked mainly about the mechanics and pitfalls of building and maintaining farm dams. He emphasised the depth of dams to reduce water temperature and minimise evaporation plus the slope of the dam walls to reduce erosion and improve compaction to prevent seepage.

Angus Ramsay of Southern Rural Water explained the complexities of allocating and licensing river and ground water.

The casual observer

Tony Byrne of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority spoke about the importance of maintaining natural waterways and the impact dam building in gullies, which may affect water flow downstream.

Jim Seager, Vice-President of BHLG, spoke about the economics of alternative water sources such as solar pumping, town water and tankers. and Deidre Murphy from  “Waterwatch” discussed the chemical and biological parameters used to measure the health of stored and running water.

BHLG 2023 Past Projects Tour

7 May 2023
By Jim Seager. Photos: Debra Filippis & Jim Seager

The Magnificent views looking North from the old Greenstone quarry at Ross & Lyn
George’s property in the Barrabool Hills.

On Sunday 7th May, an enthusiastic group of landcarers braved the cool showery weather to visit some of the past revegetation projects in the Barrabool Hills. We met at Geoff Anson’s property for the start of the tour. This would also be the lunch stop and end point of the tour. We headed to Ross & Lyn George’s property in nearby Georges Road. Here we walked through the extensive biodiversity and farm forestry plantings 15-18 years old. Ross explained how they had chosen to plant trees instead of running
livestock, resulting in a significant change to the environment on the site. Increased wildlife habitat, lower windspeed, reduced threats from invasive weeds and giving
them the freedom to work and travel off farm. In recent years there has been a significant amount of natural regenerating through the property. Ross showed us a
new area of local heathland plants they are establishing adjacent to the greenstone quarry, which will hopefully thrive in this harsh environment.
Next door at Peter George and Catherine Murphy’s we looked at some well established indigenous plantings, demonstrating the need to include understory plants
for shelter in windy areas. In 2022 following recent changes to property management and some fencing subdivision, Peter and Catherine began some new
biodiversity plantings along rocky areas. These aiming to provide wildlife habitat, slow wind speeds and improved weed control against Serrated Tussock. In 2024 they plan
to extend the boundary fence along the Barwon River, protecting a large area of remnant vegetation.
Leaving Georges Road, we travelled to Campbell and Sally Roydhouse’s property to revisit a biodiversity site the landcare group had helped plant about 6 years earlier. The
Roydhouse’s have also established some plantings of proteas for flower production on the well drained sandy hill sides.
The bus took us back to Geoff Anson’s for lunch and a walk through some of his native plantings, amongst these we saw some newly established Kangaroo grass and Bidgee Widgee.
Next it was off to ‘The Maze’ in Walters Road, owned by Wayne Moodie. We looked at the Spotted and Sugar gum plantings and listened to Wayne passionately talk about
these and many other attractions to see on the property, from the restaurant, extensive gardens and a run through the Cypress maze.
We travelled east to Ceres and down Cochranes Road to Robert & Rita Costas property. Since purchasing the property, they have established significant native plantations along their boundaries for livestock shelter, wildlife & bee friendly habitat and aesthetic value. Some of the improvements include a well structured fencing plan, securing
a good water supply for livestock and domestic use, establishing productive perennial pastures and using composting fertilizers to improve soil fertility and nutrient
The Bus took us westwards along Barrabool Road to Peter McCann’s farm. This property features a well revegetated creek running through the middle of the farm, established
in 2017-18, linking earlier projects upstream on the neighboring properties of Sally & Anthony Jones and Jim Riordan. The creek flows towards the Barwon River linking
more revegetation at Jennifer Hallowes.
After a short trip back to where we started the tour, we had time for a cup of tea, some slice and a chance for some wine tasting at Barwon Ridge Wines.

Ross George discuss the establishment of their heathlands
project started in 2022.

2017/18 Native revegetation along creek at Peter McCann’s.

2015 plantings at Costa’s property at Ceres, with some of the 4000
trees planted in 2021 in the foreground.

BHLG Nesting Box Workshop

28 May 2023

The BHLG Nesting Box Workshop held 28th May was well attended by  many enthusiastic participants including some very excited  children.

20 Nesting Boxes were made, which will be future homes for Parrots,Pardalotes and Micro bats.

We would like to thank Grant Baverstock from Bruce Creek Landcare Group for his informative talk on the benefits of bats. How wonderful to know they consume a vast number of mosquitoes every night!

We would also like to thank Bronwyn, our GLN facilitator, for her hard work and organisation to make this happen. 

Thank you to all Landcarers young and older for supporting our event and we hope that your nesting boxes will soon have some inhabitants.

2023 Annual General Meeting

9 August 2023

The 2023 AGM was held at the Gnarwarre Tennis Pavilion on 9 Aug 23. After some networking over refreshments and a cheese board the serious Landcare business of Reports and election of Office Bearers and Committee Members was conducted, This was followed by our guest speaker Peter Shaw, who in 1995 established Ocean Road Landscaping in Anglesea with his wife Simone.

Peter’s book Soulscape: Connecting Gardens to Landscape explains his passion for the local landscape and how it has fashioned his approach to innovative and beautiful landscape design around the Surf Coast area. Features of the designs to me are how they fit into their local environment and his use of indigenous and native plants to build spaces that are a joy to be in. He has featured in many articles on innovative design and has appeared on Gardening Australia.