Paddock Trees Project


Upper Goulburn Landcare Network has recently secured funding from the previous Federal Government’s Community Environment Grants to protect paddock trees. Funding is being offered to landholders in the Murrindindi Shire region for fencing and planting of understorey under individual paddock trees. Funding is being provided at $5/m for fencing. Revegetation of local native shrubs funded at $3 per plant and materials will be required in each site, and funding is also available for mistletoe control as needed. (Applications are now closed).

Paddock Trees Project

Large old Redgum at Yarck

What value do you put on your paddock tree? It’s not hard to see how much stock appreciate shelter in a paddock – they always have their favourite tree for camping under in the summer, and will be happier nestling into vegetation to have a break from the wind.

You may be surprised to know that many of our paddock trees are between 200 – 800 years of age. Unfortunately, stock are loving them to death – the attrition rate for paddock trees is about 3% and estimated that most will be lost from our landscape in the next 40 – 185 years under current conditions.

Paddock trees being generally large old trees provide hollows for nesting and more nectar than younger trees. Fallen leaf litter provides habitat for lizards, frogs, mammals and birds.

Bats are a major user of paddock trees and play an important role in controlling agricultural pests – especially in landscapes with isolated vegetation and less bird activity.

So what is the best way to protect your paddock tree and maintain shelter in your paddock for stock?

Probably the easiest and cheapest method is to leave fallen branches around the base of the tree. This protects the trunk itself from being browsed or ringbarked and enables cattle to rub on sharp branches rather than the trunk itself.

If you are looking out for the long term health of your paddock tree, fence off a few together in a more substantial clump and plant some local native shrubs from around the area. Shrubs will provide a better refuge for smaller woodland birds that effectively clean insects from the leaves and bark of paddock trees, and a more substantial area will allow those big old trees a chance to set seed and produce some offspring at last

Chris Cobern

Upper Goulburn Landcare Network


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Kids Teaching Kids Forum

IMG_5092IMG_5079Buxton Primary School educating the rest of the kids about the plight of the Leadbeater Possumthree of the kids enjoying learning about fish habitat from Fern Hames
On Tuesday the 10th September, 80 primary school students from eight schools within the Murrindindi Shire came together to share their environmental stories, to teach, to learn, to grow.
Each school had worked for several months planning and preparing presentations which represented the environmental progams running at their schools.
A coordinated effort from ‘Landcare in Schools’ coordinators Nicola Woolford and Cath Olive brought the program to life in honour of well respected and loved local Flowerdale identity Pete Auty.
The concept was about kids teaching each other. Each school presented their projects to another school with topics including composting, edible native plants, developing a butterfly attracting garden, recycling, protecting the Leadbeater’s Possum, how to pot up seedlings, and Pete’s Patch.
With only guidance from their teachers, the kids have developed their presentations themselves and presented in an interesting, creative and mature fashion.
To assist with entertainment on the day, Roberto the ex-tram conductor from ‘the Connies’ was there enthralling the kids with his knowwledge of native flora and fauna and handing out swap cards. Fern Hames from the Arthur Rylah Institute was on hand with some fascinating fish facts and games, Kirsten from Water Watch was there with some invertebrates and the Haven wildlife rescue team came along with a wombat, a python and a macaw, all of which had the kids enthralled!
The Kids Teaching Kids program is a national event which has involved 66,000 students over the last several years. Sponsored by Target and developed by father and son team Richard and Aaron Wood, Kids Teaching Kids is an education model that uses local environmental issues as a theme for learning. This year was the first time the forum has been presented in the Murrindindi Shire. The great success of the day ensures that we will host more forums into the future!
Thank you to all participating schools and teachers and to Cath and Nic for a fabulous event. Well done kids!

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Visitors from Japan

Facilitator Chris Cobern examining the contents of a nest box at Yea Wetlands with a remote camera

Facilitator Chris Cobern examining the contents of a nest box at Yea Wetlands with a remote camera

Visiting Environmental Policy Students with Rob Youl (ALI)

Visiting Environmental Policy Students with Rob Youl (ALI)

The UGLN recently hosted seven Japanese Environmental Policy students who were spending ten days visiting Victoria.
Accompanied by Prof. Toshio Kuwako from Tokyo Technological University, Prof. Mick Seigal and Dr Kazuki Kagohashi, the students enjoyed visiting several different environmental sites.
One of those sites was the Yea Wetlands. Given a tour of the Wetlands by Facilitators Judy Watts and Chris Cobern, we spoke of the role of the Landcare Facilitator in Australia. There have been several nest boxes installed at the Wetlands by Chris Cobern and on inspection of some of the nest boxes by remote camera, the students were fortunate enough to see a brushtail possum sleeping in one of the boxes.
The party then continued on to the property of Terry and Janet Hubbard to enjoy afternoon tea and tour the property to view the Biodiversity project of which encompasses several properties in Strath Creek.

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State Landcare Awards

Tom and Olivia Lawson From Paringa Livestock

Tom and Olivia Lawson From Paringa Livestock

Karen Brisbane, Judy Watts, Cath Olive, Kerri Robson and Melanie Addinsall at Government House

Karen Brisbane, Judy Watts, Cath Olive, Kerri Robson and Melanie Addinsall at Government House


Facilitators and Landholders from across the state travelled into the city to Government House to celebrate the State Landcare Awards.
What a beautiful setting to celebrate in! The Upper Goulburn Landcare Network were represented on the day by two nominees, Tom and Olivia Lawson from Patringa Livestock and The Merton Landcare Group. Paringa won the regional award for sustainable agriculture and Merton Landcare Group won the regional Group award. As winners, they are then nominated at state level. It was with great excitement that Tom and Olivia recieved a state award for sustanable agriculture in our region.
Congratulations to both Paringa Livestocka and Merton Landcare, both very worthy nominees.

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Landcare Is..? Photography Competition

Trent Patten, Judy Watts, Bruce Marsh and Jirri Prothero (front) with their winning entries

Trent Patten, Judy Watts (UGLN), Bruce Marsh and Jirri Prothero (front) with their winning entries

Our winning photo entitled "Things are looking up!"

Our winning photo entitled “Things are looking up!”

An afternoon of celebration at Mannafest Cafe, High St Yea was a lovely way to end the phography competition. Over 20 entries were received throughout the previous week from locals and from further afield. It was quite obvious that Landcare means many different things to different people. A strong focus was on local fauna with photographs of Sugar-gliders, possums, cockatoos, koalas, echidnas, dragonflies, frogs and more! The other strong theme was people working together. Other themes included landscapes, plantings, flora and farming.

When answering the question “What does Landcare mean to you?” entrants responses included;

“Fresh air, interaction with environment, connection with people and land”

“Regenerative, sustainable, biological, smart farming that invigorates agricultural land, our environment and community”

“Landcare is looking after the bush and creating habitat for animals”

“Caring for the beautiful things all around us”

“Helping to give back to the land just a little of whatwe have taken away”.

Thank you to all entrants for sharing what Landcare means to you!

Thank you to Mannafest Cafe for their fabulous support of the event! The photographs were displayed in the cafe for two weeks after the competition closed. The cafe also very generously donated nibblies on the day.

Our winners were;

Senior category 1st place – Bruce Marsh

2nd place – Trent Patten

Junior category  1st place – Jirri Prothero

2nd place – Toby Prothero

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Celebrating Landcare Week

Landcare Week Photo Competition

To celebrate Landcare Week from 2nd – 8th of September, The Upper Goulburn Landcare Network will be holding a photo competition.

The theme of the competition is “Landcare Is….?” What does landcare mean to you?

Landcare is many things, it is people, places, farming, flora, fauna, social connections.

There are two categories;  Senior – 16years and over

                                                Junior – under 16

First prize for both categories is $250 and second prize is $100.

For further information and to receive a registration form contact Judy Watts at

or telephone 57360105

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National Tree Day – A Great Success!!!

Members of Merton landcare ans Strathbogie Conservation Management Network working together

Members of Merton landcare and Strathbogie Conservation Management Network working together



Sunday the 28th July was National Tree Day. The Upper Goulburn Landcare Network Groups held three separate events on the day, all with great success!
Kinglake Landcare Group held a planting day at Koala Browse Project. Strath Creek Landcare Group held a planting day at a property on King Parrot Creek Rd, Strath Creek as part of their Biodiversity project and our third event for the day encompassed four sites along the Great Victorian Rail Trail.

Merton, Home Creek-Spring Creek, Molesworth and Yea River Catchment Landcare Groups planted at four sites along the trail with assistance from members of the Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network and other volunteers who generously gave of their time for the day. In total there were approximately 60 adults and 15 kids digging, planting, hammering and chatting at various stages. Morning tea was provided at two sites, Cathkin and Cheviot.Those who could continue on for lunch at the Molesworth hall enjoyed a warm, delicious lunch catered for by the ladies from the Molesworth Hall Committee.
In total over 600 plants were planted on the day along the trail, a stunning feature entrance was erected at the Molesworth Rail Park and a fabulous social atmosphere was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Cameron Patterson from Merton Landcare who assisted with coordination on the day.

planting on a windswept, slippery slope

planting on a windswept, slippery slope

A total of 521 seedlings were planted by 17 Strath Creek Landcarers(adults) and seven juniors in 2 and 1/2 hours on a windswept slope, slippery
with capeweed. Another 3 Landcarers were doing a fantastic job of catering,
which in this case meant gourmet pizzas in the wood fired pizza oven! Joel
and Sue now have 20 seedlings left to plant out of 1,000 allocated to this
site by the Strath Creek Biodiversity Project. In September, the ridge top
will be mechanically direct seeded.

Stakes and guards were recycled from revegetation projects the King’s have
undertaken in previous years.

This slope will now benefit from the fencing previously completed by the
Project to lock out stock. The only browsing animals now present are the
local Kangaroos. With a bit of capeweed control where possible over the next
few weeks, the struggling remnant wallaby grass should begin to recover and
form a good cover on the ridge top.

One of the values of this site is it’s visibility factor to other Strath
Creek residents and tourist traffic. Hopefully as the vegetation grows, it
will inspire others to plan their own environmental restoration projects.

Species that went in to this site included;
Grey Box
Red Box
Yellow Box
Broad leaf peppermint
Narrow leaf peppermint
Drooping She-oak
Long leaf Box
Common Cassinia
Drooping Cassinia
Purple Coral Pea
Pale Flax lily
Black anther flax lily
Large leaf bush pea
Narrow leaf bitter pea
Running Postman
Prickly Moses
Black Wattle
Kangaroo Apple
Red Stringybark
Cinnamon Wattle
Hedge wattle
Narrow leaf hop bush
Austral Indigo
Gold dust wattle
Tree violet

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