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Local 2 Landscape

Keen L2L  Walk shop participants at a property on Vaughn’s Lane, Heathcote

Keen L2L Walkshop participants at a property on Vaughn’s Lane, Heathcote

Creating Biolinks Plans in Heathcote region

Biolinks Alliance is co-developing an evidence-based Local Area Plan (LAP) to restore and reconnect the forests, woodlands and waterways in the Heathcote region with environment groups and community, the City of Greater Bendigo, and research and conservation organisations, including BirdLife Australia.

The Heathcote region is an area with much significant bush but with little formalised landcare presence. Recently landowners near Wild Duck Creek and the Argyle Forest, who have been planting on their properties to establish wildlife corridors, got together and formed ‘Planting for Life’.  They have identified they need scientific know how and a collaborative approach to make them more effective and contacted Biolinks Alliance to help.

Bringing together the various stakeholders in the region this project aims to develop a shared vision for the protection and restoration of the Heathcote regions natural values. It will increase local awareness of the value of the bush and provide ways for the local community to participate in its stewardship.  It will increase local knowledge around how deliver effective conservation actions in their area that also contribute to restoring the regional ecology. It will provide a practical tools to promote more targeted and wider community conservation action. The process will provide the community ownership over the outcomes: the vision, their roles, their activities and timetable. It will provide them with a scientifically robust agenda for more conservation action that uniquely integrates science with their local knowledge.

Find out more about the Local 2 Landscape process.

Heathcote Biolinks Walkshop

The April 14th 2019 Walkshop contrasted three different local landscapes in the broader Wild Duck Creek and Heathcote regional study area.

  1. Pyalong: A more or less cleared agricultural landscape (relictual) with steep terrain and dissected drainage in the uplands at the margins of a the Cobaw Granites (and a metamorphic aureole); Used for stock grazing and generally not suited to other intensive land uses; Some isolated patches of threatened habitat such as springs and grassy woodland that could be habitat for threatened species;

  2. Spring Plains Nature Conservation Reserve: A regrowth landscape (variegated) on a crown reserve that has been subject to intensive alluvial gold mining and firewood/timber harvesting before being converted to an NCR in the last 20 years; Box Ironbark vegetation that is habitat to Swift Parrot and other declining woodland birds and mammals;

  3. Vaughans Lane: A regenerating fragmented landscape that was formerly broad acre agriculture before being more recently subdivided into vineyards, hobby farms and lifestyle blocks; Some isolated remnants and widespread regeneration and some revegetation; Mix of Box Ironbark (upslope) and grassy woodland (lower slopes);

The aim of the day was to visit each landscape to discuss how each functions (works) ecologically, the impacts of land use and future threats, what is needed to restore landscape health to prevent species extinctions and mitigate against Climate Change, and how this might be approached in practice and in the context of sustainable land uses.

Themes of the day:

  • Incorporating Indigenous perspective;

  • Recognising and restoring biodiversity;

  • Reading landscape patterns and processes (e.g. hydrology and groundwater; connectivity, productivity etc.)

  • Regenerative agricultural – integrating humans and nature; and

  • How to achieve change and practical solutions.

I have probably only taken the area at face value previously, it seemed like a pretty uninviting environment. After gaining more knowledge, I am aware of more aspects and can appreciate what the area has been through and where it needs to go.
— Walkshop participant

Images from the Walkshop showing the fabulous group who attended and the places we went.

All I have seen and heard has opened my mind to see the area differently
— Walkshop participant
A farmers point of view

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