Hunter Local Land Services 
Landcare Links

Issue 7 - August 2016
Dear Landcarers,

Welcome to this edition of Hunter Landcare Links, a monthly update from the Hunter Regional Landcare Facilitator. If you have anything that you'd like included in future editions, please email me at by the third Friday of the month.
Please feel free to email Hunter Landcare Links on to fellow landcarers and others and encourage them to subscribe
In this issue: 

$2.2 million Grants Program now open 

Applications are now open for Hunter Local Land Services 2016-17 Grants Programs. Eligible landholders, land managers, community groups and Aboriginal organisations are encouraged to apply for funds to deliver natural resource management, sustainable agriculture and community capacity building projects.

Grants are on offer to support eligible applicants to:
•    Enhance and protect native vegetation, biodiversity and habitat for threatened species 
•    Implement sustainable grazing and land management practices 
•    Revegetate and restore streambanks and riparian zones 
•    Build landholder and community capacity in natural resource management 
•    Implement on-ground land management for Aboriginal cultural outcomes or provide capacity building and/or employment of Aboriginal land management teams

The $2.2 million grants programs are delivered by Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, Catchment Action NSW, Hunter Catchment Contributions and other partners.

Eligibility criteria and guidelines apply. Applications close on 16 September 2016. Some grant applications require assistance from Hunter Local Land Services staff before submitting. Requests for assistance must be lodged by 2 September 2016.

Further information about the grants programs is available from the Hunter Local Land Services website or by calling 1300 795 299.

Landcare passions ignited in the Upper Hunter  

Landcarers in the Upper Hunter have enjoyed a busy 2015/16 achieving great outcomes for the environment and local communities supported by Hunter Local Land Services and the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme.

Field days explored site preparation for planting native trees and native grasses in the farmscape. Landcare groups took part in weed and native grass identification and chemical weed control training. Projects included a winter-active dung beetle release, riparian vegetation plantings, trail cameras monitoring feral and native animal movements, and the purchase of a Landcare marquee available for all Upper Hunter Landcare community activities.

Singleton Shire Landcare Network hosted an inspirational Les Robinson Changeology workshop in June, which is sure to inspire many new and innovative projects across the Upper Hunter.

The Passion Mashing session encouraged Landcare and community groups to find creative alternatives to the typical "boring" meeting and event structures, instead engaging volunteers with "mouth-watering" invitations that could not be passed by.

Singleton-based Local Landcare Coordinator, Adam Dwyer said everyone attending the workshop learnt the key was to use unconventional and unpredictable ideas to delight and drive practice change and engagement on a whole new level. 

Workshop participants learnt that groups could be re-energised with dreamy new projects like Paddle'n'Plant, the Orange-Syrup-Cake August Get-together, or the Roasted Beef Burgundy Campoven Cook-off.

The Upper Hunter is set for an exciting new era having discovered the endless possibilities for events with a twist, mashing passions with Landcare activities.

The Landcare and community group Passion Mashing workshop with Les Robinson hosted by Singleton Shire Landcare Network

2016 National Landcare Conference: attendees subsidies 

The 2016 National Landcare Conference is on 21-23 September in Melbourne. There are several subsidies available to support Landcarers to attend the event.

The first is the Hunter Local Land Services Landcarers subsidy of $1,000 for up to five Hunter Landcarers. A call for expressions of interest will open soon. To learn more contact the Hunter Regional Landcare Facilitator, Nev Reis, phone: 02 4938 4959 or email:   
Secondly, the Intrepid Landcare approached Landcare Australia a few weeks back and wanted to start a crowdfunding campaign to help support more young people to attend the National Conference. This initiative is now live. You can read more about the campaign via the Sponsor a future Landcarer website.

You can also now view all of the finalists for the National Landcare Awards People’s Choice Award. There is a vote now button on each of the profiles which will take you to the survey portal.

Take advantage of the conference early bird rate that has been extended until Friday 12 August 2016.

To learn more view the 2016 National Landcare Conference program.

Getting to know your Local Landcare Coordinators

In this month's Hunter Landcare Links we start profiling your Local Landcare Coordinators.
Nicholas Alexander covers the Upper Hunter and is based in Muswellbrook.

Previous Landcare experience: 
I have a strong passion for protecting our native flora and fauna, which was fostered by my previous work as an ecologist.

Landcare passion and aspirations: While the environmental consulting industry is responsible for developing my love of our natural environment, it didn’t fulfill my desires for conservation, and that’s why a career with Landcare appealed to me so much. One of the things that has inspired me about Landcare is the way it connects the local community not only with the environment, but also each other. I look at Landcare in the Muswellbrook Shire currently as a dormant thing, ready to grow into something great. I have great hopes for facilitating the creation a number of new Landcare groups in the Muswellbrook LGA, while also helping bring some new energy into some of the existing groups in the wider Upper Hunter region.

Preferred method of contact: Phone, email, texts to mobile, all of the above, what ever works best for you
Phone: (02) 6549 3708; Mobile: 0418 858 420; or email:
Adam Dwyer covers the Mid Hunter and is based in Singleton.

Previous Landcare experience:
I have experience working across a range of industries and government in NSW and South Australia, and have also previously been involved with the Singleton Shire Landcare Network as Secretary.

Landcare passion and aspirations: Having grown up in Singleton and returned a few years ago I have a keen perspective on the various issues facing the region as well as the multitude of strengths held by the people and places of the region. Whether you’re involved in town, farming, mining, tourism, government, military or wine making you have something to offer in your local area and we want you! The beauty of Landcare is that everyone can get involved in caring for the viability and enjoyment of natural resources in our local area.
Preferred method of contact: I am available at Singleton Council on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday ph 6578 7534; mob 0437 692 224; or email  
Other Local Landcare Coordinators across the region:

Stronger for the Storm

It has been over a year since the April 2015 Super Storm hit the Hunter, and the NSW State Emergency Service and the University of Newcastle has launched a Post Disaster Research and Innovation Project.  

'Stronger for the Storm' is an opportunity for you to share your stories about what happened, what helped, and what hindered so that the community can be better prepared and recover more quickly.  

Researchers want to hear from adult residents of: Gillieston Heights, Dungog, Torryburn, Woodville, Paterson, Duns Creek; and the Lower Hunter flood plain communities of: Millers Forest, Duckenfield, Hinton and Wallalong.

Participants are invited to take part in an audio recorded one-on-one interview and/or a focus group discussion. Research meetings can take place at a convenient time & location for participants, or simply over the phone.

To learn more and/or register to take part, please don't hesitate contact: Dr Amanda Howard via Email: or Phone: Dr Milena Heinsch 49217035.

Managing our creeks

Many Upper Hunter landholders are fortunate to have creeks running through their properties and understand these areas require special care. 

Hunter Local Land Services are conducting a free workshop at Baerami Memorial School of Arts Hall to help demystify the sometimes confusing world of riparian management. This interactive event will help landholders with riparian lands separate fact from fiction and learn how to improve their farming system to reduce farm maintenance and benefit the environment.

There will be presentations on fencing design, native planting options, erosion and weed control, off-stream watering for stock, and a discussion on building creek crossings and ideas for grazing creek areas.

Come along and get some practical advice on managing our local waterways and adjacent land from industry specialists and local advisory staff.

The field day will be held on Tuesday 9 August from 9.30 am to 3 pm. It has been planned for landholders in the Baerami and surrounding catchments, which was hit hard in the 2007 storms and following bushfires in the Baerami and Martindale catchments in 2013. All landholders, however, are welcome to attend. 

The day will conclude with a short bus tour to a local property for on-site presentations.

Please RSVP for lunch catering to Fiona Marshall 0429 455492 or Scone Office 6540 2400. 

Compost workshop in the vineyards a success 

A compost workshop was held by the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association on 29th June 2016 with support from the NSW DPI. The workshop was made possible with supporting funds received from the Hunter Region Landcare Network and its partners Hunter Local Land Services and the National Landcare Programme. 

The workshop was pitched at local vineyards and wineries with a focus on the “how to” of compost production, utilising winery waste streams e.g .grape marc, cardboard, garden waste, and more.
The four speakers were :
Darren Fahey – NSW DPI Development Officer Viticulture
David Forrest – Forrest Farm (organic farmer – Northern NSW)
John Kalleske – Kalleske Vineyards (organic vineyard owner/operator, Barossa Valley, SA)
David Lowe – Lowe Vineyards (Mudgee, NSW)

The talks covered different methods of composting and the differences in the compost they produce. With two vineyard/winery focused speakers this was able to then be tailored to how these different products are suitable for use at different times of the season and for different phases in the vineyard’s life e.g. in the development phased compared with the production phase.  

David Forrest and David Lowe provided some very useful information on ratios of inputs and how to manage the composting process. This included how to keep the process going when it slows and how to manage the process to minimise the labour inputs required i.e. if the ratios are right then there will be less need for watering and turning.  

David Forrest was also able to add some insight in how to manage compost production in high rainfall region, as this is a potential challenge in the Hunter in the period when we would be composting i.e. post-harvest (February onwards). David Lowe showcased his analysis and financials of compost production, which was very relevant for those considering going down his path. He and John Kalleske provided great insight into application methods, where they apply the compost (the midrow rather than undervine), application rates, expected benefits and time frames for change. Much of this was different to how many growers currently use commercially available products in the undervine area. This lead onto a good discussion in regards to soil biology and vine resilience versus just adding organic matter and gaining mulching properties. 

John Kalleske discussed his composting process in the context of his whole farm philosophy. His experiences and wine quality outcomes were very credible and provided confidence in the use of compost. With the Barossa having a quite different climate to the Hunter there were many questions in regards to how this region may need to adapt processes to accommodate the wetter conditions.

There is a strong level of local collaboration. The session closed with a request for participants to work collaboratively to progress some plans for composting post the 2017 vintage (Jan-March 2017). The lead time to the commencement of the growing season (Sept) will provide local vignerons with time to assess the opportunity, and to put plans in place to implement a program in the New Year.

To learn more and engage with other vineyard composters contact Liz Riley, Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association, Viticulture Sub-committee Representative Ph: 0411 203 773 or Email:

Upcoming events

Thursday 4 August from 6.30 pm, Mid Coast DAGS (Dairy Advancement Group) Dairy Industry Dinner, Winning Post Function Centre at the Taree Race Course, Cost $50 per Person, includes food and entertainment.  For more information contact Josh Hack Ph: 0488 277 133. 

Friday 5 August 10.30 am, Mid Coast Women in Dairy Monthly Tea, Wild Fig Cafe Taree. For more information contact Meaghan email: 

Tuesday 9 August, 9.30 - 3 pm, Managing our Creeks Workshop, Baerami Memorial School of Arts Hall, Cnr Baerami Creek Road & Bylong Valley Way. Please RSVP by Friday 5th August to book your place - Ph 6540 2400 or contact Fiona Marshall on 0429 455 492 or email 

Wednesday 10 August 3.30 - 5 pm, The Wetlands Group gathering: sharing, learning and networking opportunity. The Balcony Hunter Wetlands Centre, 1 Wetlands Place Shortland.  For more information contact Pauline Dunne, Office Environment and Heritage Ph: 4927 3121 or Email:  

Friday 19 August 9.30 am - 3 pm, New Landholders Day, includes practical livestock skills, Wingham. Limited to 20 participants.  For more information contact Lyndell Stone Ph: 6553 4233 or E:  

Sunday 21 August 9.30 am - 12 noon, Community Planting Day, Aden Street (Crawchie Creek) Shortland.  Please RSVP for catering to Gavin Ph: 49649308

Wednesday 24 - 25 August, Far South Coast Dairy Development Group: Future Ready Dairy Farms Expo, Bega. More information (flyer) 

Wednesday 7 September 9 am - 12.30 pm, Sheep and goat information session.  Ruminant Animal Training Centre, Tocal Dairy, Tocal College.  If you would like to attend please contact the Hunter LLS office at Maitland Saleyards on Ph: 4932 8866.  

Wednesday 21-23 September, National Landcare Conference and Awards, Melbourne.  Registrations are now open.  To register go to:

Tuesday 25 - 27 October, 2016 NSW Vertebrate Pest Management Symposium, Red Oak Function Centre, Turners Vineyard, Orange, NSW.  For more information visit
Friday 28 - 30 October, National Biological Farming Conference & Expo 2016.  Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, Queensland. Go to: for more information.

Sunday 5 - 9 February, Restore, Regenerate, Revegetate: a Conference on Restoring Ecological Processes, Ecosystems and Landscapes in a Changing World.  University of New England, Armidale, NSW. For more information visit    

Regular events

  • Gresford District Landcare Group meets 2nd Tuesday of the month (except January), at Hotel Beatty, East Gresford.  Ph: 4938 5112 for more information. 
  • The Newcastle Group of Australian Plants Society NSW Ltd meets the first Wednesday each month at 7.30 pm downstairs at the Shortland Wetlands Centre. 
  • Earthcare Park Landcare meet on the second Saturday of each month on site at Metford Road Tenambit beside Beryl Humble Oval. Contact Eric for details 0408 680 726
  • Kooragang Monthly Tree Planting Day is on the third Sunday of the month. Free morning tea and Lunch. Ph 4964 9308 or email for more details.
  • Dyers Crossing Landcare meets every second month, usually at a property to tour it and discuss issues. Contact John 6559 1251
  • Coomba Sustainable Living Group meets on the last Friday of the month for a wide variety of workshops or visits, to promote sustainable living. Contact Carolyn 0439 513 119 / 6554 2001 /
  • Wang Wauk / Wallamba Sustainable Farming Group meets every second month at a property to discuss what we have each been working on and any issues. It is always an entertaining and informative session with delicious morning tea. 9.30 am - 12 noon.
    Contact Ros 0412 793 446 for more information
  • Topi Topi Sustainable Farming Group meets once a month to focus on a topic of interest to members. Contact Sue 0438 433 063.
  • Gloucester Environment Group have monthly walks, for more info contact Alison Lyon on 0409 718 795 or 
  • Dungog Walkers, including Dungog Common Landcarers, have fortnightly walks (Adults 18 yrs & over only). For more information phone Walking for Pleasure Co-ordinator on 4926 1633.    

Other Landcare links and news

Funding opportunities

Tools and resources

Happy landcaring!

Nev Reis
Regional Landcare Facilitator
Hunter Local Land Services

Phone 02 4938 4959

The Regional Landcare Facilitator Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

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