Biolinks Holds Local2Landscape Walkshop
MCIVOR TIMES EDITOR AND HEATHCOTE LOCAL, VANESSA WILTSHIRE JOINED OTHER ENTHUSIASTIC ATTENDEES FOR A BIOLINKS ALLIANCE WALKSHOP' IN THE FIRST STEPS TOWARD PLANNING FOR LINKING LANDSCAPES WITHIN THE HEATHCOTE AREA.
Walkshop links to environment
ARTICLE BY VANESSA WILTSHIRE https://www.mcivortimes.com.au/@news/2019/04/17/540273/walkshop-links-to-environment#1
IT WAS a still and sunny morning at the opening of the Biolinks Alliance Walkshop on Sunday.
The booked educational tour started at Merindoc in Tooborac, atop a sharp and steep hill. Deep in Taungurung country, indigenous elder Shane Monk performed a welcome to country and smoking ceremony, against a broad and far-reaching sky.
The Walkshop is part of a broader project to help conservationists learn about the ecological diversity of the Heathcote region (forests, rivers, creeks and grasslands), and, how to protect/restore it.
Made possible with a grant from the City of Greater Bendigo and the Biolinks Alliance, the funding will help develop vision and a plan to save threatened wildlife species such as the Spotted Quoll and Sugar Gliders, both of which were once abundant in this area.
Sixty people listened in awe to botanist and grassland ecologist Paul Foreman as he described the land. Between 700-900 million years old, where the group stood was once its own kind of middle earth. Until 400 million years ago, countless tonnes of rock and sediment lifted the landscape 4 kilometres higher.
Then, with the natural passing of time and shifting atmospheric and geological conditions, the landscape eroded. Today, the region is one of the most geologically complex in Victoria.
With pastures on hillsides and vineyards in the valley; Merindoc has been in the Shelmerdine family since 1956.
Lady Southey attended the first part of the Walkabout event.
Dr John Fawcett, Hydrogeologist and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem specialist was also a guest speaker/advisor.
Over the course of the day, participants visited three sites. Merindoc was the first, where the group examined biodiversity and sustainable land use in an agricultural setting.
Morning tea was served beneath weeping willows, next to a creek and a marsh.
The group then left for Spring Plains NCR, followed by lunch at the Heathcote Senior Citizens Hall. Catering was generously supplied by the Heathcote (night) CWA, including Kerry Sapsed, Thyme for Tea.
The final stop included Vaughans Lane, where the group looked at large old trees, dams, waterways, remnant vegetation and re-vegetation in largely non-agricultural private landscapes.
For information about this project, visit the Heathcote L2L webpage