Have you spotted African Weed Orchid?

The highly invasive African Weed Orchid is beginning to flower through the Eden Park / Beveridge areas and now is the perfect time to correctly identify the plant and remove it. It tends to grow along roadsides, degraded pastures and tracks where is competes with native lilies, grasses and orchids. It doesn’t readily establish under tree canopy.

Fleshy leaves establish from an underground tuber in winter and flower from October to December. The orchid produces thousands of tiny dust like seeds which are spread considerable distance by wind and water.

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African Weed Orchid sending up a flowering stem

Care should be taken when treating it to dig out all the underground bulbs. It is also known to grow in conjunction with native Onion Orchids (Microtis species) which is similar in appearance however do not have numerous leaves at the base and are more slender. Below shows the similarities between the invasive African Weed Orchid (left) and native Onion Orchid (right).

 

If you think you might have it and want it confirmed contact Mark Williams on 9217 2471 or you can email a picture to mark.williams@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

 

Winter Rural News now online

The latest edition of Rural News is now available to download from our Blog.

In this edition learn about running an effective integrated rabbit control program, financial support for rural landowners, ripping to break up compacted soil prior to revegetation, the dangers of grazing too heavily following autumn rains, and how you can be involved in shaping Whittlesea’s water future.

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All rural landowners in Whittlesea will receive a copy in the mail. Contact Mark Williams (mark.williams@whittlesea.vic.gov.au, or call 9217-2471) to receive a hard copy.

Biodiversity Strategy gets the green light

The City of Whittlesea officially has a Biodiversity Strategy after Council endorsed the Strategy at its June 4 meeting.

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The Strategy provides six key directions to improve the management and protection of biodiversity across the municipality into the future. It builds on the many efforts already underway by individuals, community groups, and government and aims to develop a coordinated approach that will allow for our natural environment to thrive as the City continues to grow.

The Strategy sets out six key objectives to protect and improve local biodiversity: 

  1. Improve our knowledge and understanding of local biodiversity
  2. Strengthen the Planning Scheme to achieve better biodiversity outcomes
  3. Support our rural landowners to protect biodiversity of their land
  4. Encourage awareness and participation in urban biodiversity and improvement
  5. Manage Council land to reduce threats and improve habitat quality
  6. Collaborate with other land management agencies

 

If you would like any further information feel free to contact Mark Williams on 9217 2471 or mark.williams@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

City of Whittlesea Draft Biodiversity Strategy

The City of Whittlesea is pleased to present its Draft Biodiversity Strategy 2019-2029.

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The Strategy will provide directions to improve the management and protection of biodiversity across our municipality through:

  • Improving our knowledge and understanding of local biodiversity
  • Strengthening the Planning Scheme to achieve better biodiversity outcomes
  • Supporting rural landowners to protect and improve biodiversity on private land
  • Encouraging awareness and participation in urban biodiversity and improvement
  • Managing Council land to reduce threats and improve habitat quality
  • Collaborating with other land management agencies

Members of the public are invited to make comment and learn more about the Strategy. Please contact Mark Williams for further information on 9217 2471 or email mark.williams@whittlesea.vic.gov.au by 26 April 2019

 

Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan

The City of Whittlesea is developing its first Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan which will provide directions to improve the management and protection of biodiversity across the municipality.

Whittlesea 2040: A place for all is Council’s long-term vision for the future to ensure the City of Whittlesea remains a great place to live. Valued natural landscapes and biodiversity is identified as a key direction in the Whittlesea 2040 vision. The Strategy builds upon that theme with its overarching goal:

To Protect and Improve Local Biodiversity

To achieve this goal the Biodiversity Strategy sets out six broad objectives, to:

  • Improve our knowledge and understanding of local biodiversity
  • Manage Council land to reduce threats and improve habitat quality
  • Support rural landowners to protect and improve biodiversity on private land
  • Encourage awareness and participation in urban biodiversity and improvement
  • Strengthen the Planning Scheme to achieve better biodiversity outcomes
  • Collaborate with other land management agencies

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Importantly, biodiversity management is not something that can be managed by individual landowners, Council or government agencies in isolation. Collaboration will be essential to make a meaningful difference to biodiversity within the City of Whittlesea and beyond.

In implementing this Strategy, the City of Whittlesea will be committing to working with community and other agencies to ensure that our natural values are there for future generations.

Council is currently developing a series of actions (Action Plan) for each of the objectives above with the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan due to be available for public comment on Council’s website from April 2019.

For further information contact Mark Williams on 9217 2471 or Mark.Williams@Whittlesea.vic.gov.au.

Victorian Landcare Grants- Now Open

The Victorian Landcare Grants (2018-19) will provide funding to support community-based natural resource management (NRM) groups and networks undertaking on-ground works, education and capacity building projects to protect and restore our land and environment.

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What type of grants are available?

Project Grants

Up to $20,000 may be provided to eligible groups and networks for on-ground works, capacity building activities, community education and engagement that protects, or improves natural assets such as native vegetation, native fauna, waterways, wetlands and soils.

Support Grants and Start-up Grants

Up to $500 may be provided to eligible groups and networks for assistance with costs such as insurance, incorporation and operational needs, or meetings and events or newsletters, websites and other communication materials.

Objectives of the Victorian Landcare Grants

  • To fund projects that address local, regional and state land and environment priorities through delivery of:
    • On-ground works
    • Capacity building activities
    • Community education and engagement
  • To sustain community-based NRM groups and networks by providing support and start-up grants, particularly for groups whose continuing existence will benefit from this support.

 

Click here for more information and to apply.

 

 

Greengate Farm Tour – Friday May 18

We are fortunate to be able to offer you the opportunity to visit Greengate Farm in Thurgoona in partnership with the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network.

Greengate is an organic farm, developed as a learning facility at NSW TAFE Riverina Institute by Rob Fenton. The property is a 400 acre educational facility that is certified organic. This Farm is part of TAFE Riverina Institute based at The National Environment Centre just outside Albury, NSW. Click here to learn more about Greengate Farm.

The farm acts as teacher and is run by the interns studying a Diploma of Organic Farming. The farm uses Agro-Ecology principles, specialises in sustainable & ecological agriculture. The course also guides interns to develop strategies around farming with uncertainty, managing climate risk & farming with ecological approaches.

The farm is designed for robustness and relies on a diverse ecosystem. Green Gate Organic Farm has a poly culture of systems and connected pathways that build resilience in a changing climate.

RSVP no later than Monday 14th May and click here to download a flyer with further details on this exciting opportunity.

 

 

**Correction of date** Future Opportunities and Challenges for Invasive Species Management- May 18

The previous post had incorrectly listed this event for the 26th May- It is on the 18th May.

The Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (WASBAG) together with the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce (VBT) invite you to a forum on Future Opportunities and Challenges for Invasive Species Management in Victoria. The forum will be held at the Whittlesea Golf Club in Humevale from 9:30am – 3:00pm.

The forum will present on:

  • the latest research on blackberry bio-control and modelling on deer population growth.
  • City of Whittlesea’s proactive weed control programs and incentives for sustainable land management for rural landowners.
  • Melbourne Water’s management of waterways and assistance for rural landholders
  • New and emerging issues in the region
  • WASBAG update

Click here to download a flyer.

This is a free event with morning tea and lunch provided. Bookings are essential.

For further information or to RSVP please contact Barton Roberts at vbt@vicblackberrytaskforce.com.au or on 0409 332 258 by May 10 2018.