President's Report from 2012 AGM
Welcome and Thank You
everyone to the 2012 AGM of Riddells Creek Landcare.
I want to thank all of our members, for without their support Riddells Creek
Landcare would not exist.
importantly, I want to thank the 2011-2012 committee for their passion and
commitment to ensuring the protection, monitoring and management of our local
environment. Without them we would achieve nothing! Gill Best, our secretary,
Jacquey Booth our treasurer, our immediate past president Russell Best and general
committee members David Francis, Ian McLean and Ross Colliver.
The ways we are now
communicating with our members and the community are via the RCL email
broadcast lists, our website and Facebook page. Our ‘rclmembers’ email
broadcast is used within our membership to inform everyone of upcoming events,
or for those without email they receive it via conventional post. We also
encourage our members to use this email address to share their sightings or
interesting facts they come across about our local environment. This has often
generated discussions with a number of members sharing their curiosity,
experience and knowledge. At this stage, these shared experiences have taken
over from the traditional newsletter RCL published, which at the end of last
year we decided to stop producing.
also communicate our activities and upcoming events via our website
(www.riddellscreeklandcare.org.au) and continue to archive committee
documentation on our committee website.
Facebook page now has 20 Likes and we mostly use this to inform people of our
upcoming events. We have had people post on our site, including uploading
photos of moths they had seen. We have been able to reach out to the wider
community not targeted by our traditional local advertising, with people
attending some of our talks after seeing the advertising only on Facebook.
also produced a new brochure this year and have mailed this out to all of
Riddells Creek. With an increasing and changing community we felt it was an
effective way to introduce ourselves, this has been successful in recruiting
three new memberships to date.
also communicate our events to the wider community in Riddell Roundup and by
placing flyers on community noticeboards around Riddells Creek and Gisborne.
way we promote the group and our interest in flora has been the production of
RCL’s book “Macedon Range Flora: A photographic guide to Barrm Birrm”. It is
still selling copies today, I’ll leave the details of that to Jacquey in her
report later. Since production of the book in 2008 which saw 208 native plants
photographed, RCL members have increased this number to 239 and these can be
viewed via NatureShare under the ‘Native Plants of Barrm Birrm, Riddells Creek’
Creek Landcare has many projects on the go, including NatureShare, endangered
species management, Barrm Birrm protection, community education and information
including our walks and talks, flora and fauna surveys, weed eradication and
As you would be aware,
NatureShare was launched in August last year after a huge amount of effort and
inspiration from Russell Best and Reily Beacom. Since its launch, there has
been a lot of input from the wider community and in the last year nearly 400
new species, 2800 observation and 60 collections have been added. This data
contributes to our knowledge and appreciation of our Victorian flora and fauna.
Barrm Birrm protection
Barrm Birrm protection was the
instigation for the formation of Riddells Creek Landcare. In 2005 ‘A
Statement of Significance’ was prepared by Lachlan Milne and Russell Best to
characterise and clarify the importance of this parcel of land. In 2009 Stylidium
armeria subsp. pilosifolium
(Hairy-leaf Triggerplant) was
discovered and formally named by RCL members Russell Best and David Francis
along with botanist Neville Walsh, adding weight to the significance of this
area. In 2009 RCL made a submission to Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s (MRSC)
discussion on the inappropriate subdivision of the Riddells Ranges Estate at
their council meeting. Council made 5 recommendations, two of which are of
particular interest and which still require follow up from RCL. Firstly, that Council
requests the State Government to explore the possibility of the acquisition of
the land in the estate, to add to the other flora and fauna reserves in the
area and secondly that Council refer to the next budget, consideration of a
funding allocation for the purposes of an expert study of the subject land.
Both of these motions still require further action and RCL will be following
these up more rigorously over the next year. RCL will continue to remove
rubbish and weeds, and we will continue to monitor to the flora and fauna,
weeds, erosion, traffic and rubbish throughout Barrm Birrm.
endangered plant management project focuses mainly on the rail reserves. The
threatened and endangered plant species we are trying to protect include Diuris
punctata var. punctata, Dianella
amoena, Geranium sp.1, Senecio
cunninghamii var. Cunninghamii and the fauna species include Trapezites luteus luteus and Jalmenus
icilius. To date we have been
unsuccessful in our funding applications to implement this management plan, but
will be applying for funding again as opportunities arise. We have also found
it difficult to obtain quotes for this work and VicRail puts restrictions on
access to the sites, further complicating action. We also need to negotiate the
work we do at these sites with the Department of Sustainability and
David and Russell conducted the yearly Diuris punctata survey in
November 2011. During this survey only 8 plants were recorded, down from 90
A huge thank you to New Gisborne Primary
School for their support of our endangered plant program. Grade 3
students, Tyra, Emily, Molly, Jessica-Rose, Eliza, and Jessica wanted to help
out their local endangered flora and so organised a fundraiser "Green and
Yellow Day". On Thursday 29th March
2012 students and staff were able to wear green and yellow free dress for a
gold coin donation and raised over $465.
species sightings over the past year include flora in Barrm Birrm, Senecio picridioids, Senecio microbasis, Viola
hederacea ssp. Seppeltiana, Acacia implexa and Hakea laurina and on the rail reserve Geranium species nulimbik. Butterflies (Pseudalmenus chlorinda
zephyrus (Silky Hairstreak), Signetta flammeata (Shield Skipper) and
Heteronympha penelope penelope (Shouldered Brown)), the dargonfly (Adversaeschna
brevistyla (Blue-spotted Hawker)), moths (Maxates centrophylla, Spilosoma
curvata, Chrysodeixis argentifera and Circopetes obtusata) and birds
(Sittella (Mt Tenerife), Australian Grebe and Buff-banded Rail). I was also
fortunate enough to be involved in a platypus survey along Riddells Creek and
observe the capture, monitoring and release of a young fit male. A second male
was found later in the evening.
Education and Information
We have hosted 4 talks over
the past year. In September 2011 James Booth educated us on the snakes and
reptiles around Riddells Creek and gave us advice on what to do if we come
across one of these beauties. Also in September we co-hosted a workshop at the
Riddells Creek Farmers Market with our Jacksons Creek EcoNetwork (JCEN)
partners titled “Friend or Foe: Can you tell the difference?” It was an
informative morning trying tell the difference between native grasses and
serrated tussock and chiliean needle grass. Those who worked it out were able
to take a plant or two home.
In November 2011 Peter
Marriott educated us on moths and topped the night off with a practical
experience of how to observe moths. Also
in November we held another practical workshop looking at the “Life in Our
Creeks”. Sam Harrison from Melbourne Water guided us through collecting and
sorting macro-invertebrates in both Riddells and Sandy Creeks. We had a great
time and this was topped off by the results of our assessment of the different
species of macro-invertebrates in our creeks indicating that our creeks are in
pretty good health, with many ‘very sensitive bugs’ thriving in our waters.
Russell has led two very
successful and well attended community walks over the last year. In October
2011 we looked at the bushfood of Barrm Birrm. We got to taste a little and
discover their uses as food and medicine. Each walker received a laminated
sheet with all the information. In March
2012 we enjoyed a new area of Riddells Creek, and took a walk through Mt
Charlie, a pleasant way to spend the afternoon!
Clean Up Australia Day
In March 2012 we participated
once again in the Clean Up Australia Day in Barrm Birrm. Thanks to 11
volunteers who spent the morning picking up rubbish to keep our bush clean and
safe for both ourselves and our wildlife. We are happy to report that each year
the volume of rubbish decreases but of course there are always those who use it
as a dump for household furniture and appliances. We are grateful to MRSC for collecting
these dump sites and the rubbish we collect.
Information about schemes
landholders can apply for are advertised on our website and include the
Melbourne Water Stream Frontage Program, Trust for Nature and Land for
Wildlife. Many of our members participate and benefit from these programs.
continuing our weeding efforts on public land in Riddells Creek. Through
funding provided by MRSC we have be able to continue our partnership with
Greening of Riddell to eradicate outbreaks of Carpet weed/Blanket Weed (Galenia pubescens) as they are observed
by the community. We are also tackling
other weed areas.
Over the past year I have been
analysing the chemical characteristics of Riddells Creek to monitor the health
of the waterway. I would like to thank Greening of Riddell for allowing me to
share their equipment until RCL was able to get their own at the start of this
year. Overall the health of Riddells Creek is looking good and correlates with
the macro-invertebrate study we did and the observation of platypus. More
detailed results can be viewed on our website along with those collected by our
We have been successful in
receiving funds for weed control, $700 from MRSC and $500 from Port Phillip and
Westernport CMA (PPWCMA) to help with administrative costs, which we use to
help cover the cost of insurance for our members. Over the next year we will
continue our efforts to receive funding to implement our Rail Reserve Management
Plan and hopefully again receive the same level of support from both MRSC and
RCL is a member of the JCEN, a
network of 11 Landcare and Friends groups. This network allows us to keep in
touch with other natural resource management groups more effectively. With the
other Landcare and Friends groups in the area we can coordinate events,
projects, political activism and funding opportunities with greater effect. It
also gives us a greater voice with organisations such as Melbourne Water,
PPWCMA and MRSC. We also have representation in Riddells Creek Sustainability
and Transition Town Riddell. RCL also has a presence at the Riddells Creek
Farmers Market and at the CFA expos.
RCL has also been active in
preparing submissions for the Urban Growth Boundary, and we will be preparing a
submission for the Riddells Creek Town Structure Plan Issue Paper.
What can we look forward to over the next twelve
Birrm protection: continuing to lobby MRSC to fulfil their commitment to request the State Government to explore the
possibility of the acquisition of the land in the estate, to add to the other
flora and fauna reserves in the area and to carry out an experty study of the
continue to encourage community involvment and watch NatureShare evolve.
education and information: more walks and talks, Clean up Australia Day and
WaterWatch, more involvment with local schools.
monitoring and protection: continue monitoring our local enviornment for new
species and changes to species populations. Source funds to implement the Rail
Reserve Manangement Plan.
Riddell of Weeds: continued efforts on weed control.
· Wildlife Corridor:
continue lobbying for the establishment of a wildlife corridor from Macedon
Park to Conglomerate Gully.
applications: source funds to support our projects.
What’s coming up over the next few months?
· Landcare Facilitator: JCEN and Upper Deep Creek
Landcare Network have been successful in securing funds to employ a Landcare
Facilitator. This person will assist all groups within these two networks to
increase their capacity to apply for funds, plan for and implement on-ground
works, events and workshops, engage primary schools and more.
· We are negotiating the purchase of still cameras, video
and audio equipment to increase our efforts in monitoring our local
inhabitants. RCL members will have the opportunity to set these up on their own
properties to see what treasures they have in their own backyards.
· Community Wattle Walk in Barrm Birrm on Sunday 2nd
September at 2pm.
· Spring walk in Barrm Birrm for RCL and APS Mitchell
members only. Saturday 27th October.
· End of year get together for RCL members. November
Once again I
want to thank the RCL committee, Gill, Jacquey, Russell, David, Ian and Ross,
for all their hard work over the past year in continuing the effort to preserve
and protect our local environment.