TARCUTTA VALLEY LANDCARE PROPERTY WALK
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Over twenty-five landholders and land managers attended the recent vegetation management property walk held at Liz McCallum’s property, ‘Tintenbah’, at Humula. The day was part of a series across the wider Riverina co-ordinated by the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) and funded by the NSW Environmental Trust in conjunction with Tarcutta Valley Landcare Group, Murrumbidgee Landcare Inc. and Riverina Local Land Services.
The day was launched and outlined by Maddy Gorham, Mid-Murrumbidgee Local Landcare Coordinator. Martin Driver, ANPC Project officer then gave a brief summary of the range of resource materials available to identify locally native plants in the area. He then demonstrated an easy way to use the local South West Slopes Vegetation Guide to help you identify plants listed in the landscape profile for your area.
There was then a display of over eighteen trees and shrubs collected on the immediate roadsides demonstrating the diversity of what would have naturally occurred in the valley but many of which are now at risk and only represented on TSRs, roadsides and cemeteries and other managed areas on farms. These included several species of Daviesia, Pultenaeas, and at least four other peas, seven wattle species, two Heaths and a Grevillea found only on high road cuttings.
Matt McGrath, Vegetation Management Officer with Wagga City Council then spoke on his role in vegetation management and integrated weed management and the threat of weed invasions particularly the number of emerging weed species that landholders should be aware of locally, including Spiny Burr Grass, African Love Grass and Rhodes Grass. Matt stressed the importance of vegetation management on roads and reserves as well as their role in the spread of weeds by stock, wildlife and roadside management practises and the need to be alert to emerging weeds on these areas as well as making sure to limit their disturbance.
After light refreshments Janelle Jenkins, Senior Land Services Officer with Riverina Local Land Services (LLS) led the group to inspect two grazed sites of quite different character within the one grazed paddock. Janelle led the group through basic identification of the main grass species and the relative grazing values and resilience response of each and the importance of setting management objectives and grazing strategies. Discussion was held on the values of the mixed native grass pastures and timing of grazing to maintain and optimise both production and persistence relative to various fully improved pasture systems. The merit of paddock subdivision of this paddock was noted to enable more stock control and different outcome responses from the different areas including greater tree regeneration response and shelter in the more protected sites. The fencing of replacement paddock trees was also noted as a worthwhile benefit where regeneration was not occurring naturally under paddock grazing.
The day was followed by the Tarcutta Valley Landcare Group Annual General Meeting at the Humula Sports Club. At the meeting, Tarcutta Landcare Group members appointed a new executive and discussed future workshops and on-ground works desired by members. A number of ideas were discussed including learning the basics of beekeeping, native plant harvesting and seed collection and more workshops that involve schools.
Anyone interested in following with similar workshops in their area in plant identification, seed collection, vegetation grazing or management can contact Maddy Gorham on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0429 458 717.
Blog post written by Martin Driver, ANPC