Hunter Local Land Services 
Landcare Links

Issue 6 - July 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 second Friday of the month.
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In this issue: 

All Hunter Local Landcare Coordinators on board!

The final Local Lancare Coordinator for the Hunter Region joined the team last week. Nicholas Alexander is the new Upper Hunter Landcare Coordinator, based in the Muswellbrook Shire Council Office.  

Muswellbrook Shire Council has matched the part time position to bring this position up to one full time position committed to Landcare across the Upper Hunter, which includes both Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Local Government Areas.

Nicholas will be joining the other Local Landcare Coordinators across the region: The Local Landcare Coordinators have been doing some great work invigorating Landcare networks and groups across the region with some much needed capacity building, whilst also supporting the delivery of local events and activities.

For more information please contact Nev Reis, Hunter Regional Landcare Facilitator, via email: or phone: 4938 4959.  
John Hughson, Chair, Hunter Region Landcare Network, meets Nicholas Alexander, Upper Hunter Local Landcare Coordinator.

Rewarding Regrowth Resources

Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare, Manning Landcare, and Hunter Local Land Services brought inspiring free field workshops to Taree and Dyers Crossing in May, outlining how to make the most of native woody regrowth.

“It’s such a great resource, and a lot of landholders could be getting so much more out of it,” said Craig Tate, President of Hunter Farm Forestry Network. Craig has been growing and managing native trees for many years, making the most of Wootton’s fantastic capacity to grow forests.

Craig shared some of his in depth forestry knowledge in a practical forest setting. “Massive areas of the Great Lakes and Manning are ideally suited to growing trees, but unfortunately remnants on private property aren’t always valued. Poorly planned harvesting will leave nothing but an under-performing paddock behind, when these areas could be giving an ongoing sustainable harvest of wood, while still providing reserve grazing ideal for tough weather conditions, plus all the biodiversity benefits", said Craig.

Hunter Local Land Services Native Vegetation Officer, Jesse Gollan, gave an update on legislation relating to native vegetation and outlined assistance provided by Local Land Services.

Participants found the half-day workshop very useful, with a lot of practical information to take on board.  
For any follow up information on this event contact Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare Local Landcare Coordinator, Joel Dunn via email:  

Soils - The Key Farm Asset

"Soils are the most significant farm asset," was the message from David Hardwick of Soil Land Food, at a recent series of healthy soil field days held across the region. As with other assets, soils only reach their full potential with regular monitoring and maintenance.

There are many important factors that influence soil health that can be readily assessed and monitored using basic equipment, including soil texture, ground-cover, soil infiltration, aggregate stability, pH, soil sodicity and salinity, root depth, root volume, soil organisms / biota.

Over 70 participants were guided through the fundamentals of assessing and managing soil health during the field day series, held at Stroud Road, Dyers Crossing and Kundle Kundle during the first week of June.

David's hands-on style, soil biology role plays, and practical DIY soil assessment techniques were well received by participants. If you would like further information, David's excellent Rapid Assessment of Soil Health Manual (RASH Manual) is freely available at:

The three day series was a collaboration of Hunter Local Land Services, Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare, Manning Landcare, and Mid Coast Council.  

For any follow up information on this event, please contact Joel Dunn, Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare Local Landcare Coordinator, email:

Indigenous Fire Management Workshop

Over 150 people attended an Indigenous Fire Management Workshop over three days from May 23-25 at Aboriginal Education and Healing Centre, Mandalong and Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), Morisset where an on ground culture burn was conducted.

Indigenous fire practitioner, Victor Steffensen, shared his Aboriginal fire knowledge with participants over the three days.

The first day focused on planning fire burns with Mr Steffensen and the Rural Fire Service Wyong District Coordinator, Mr Stewart O'Keefe, and other presenters. The second day was the on ground burn, and the third day was an open forum. Many district and state fire management coordinators across NSW attended the open forum. 

Indigenous Local Land Services Officer, Mr Toby Whaleboat, who coordinated the event says, " It was a great turn out, which drew a lot of positive feed back from community and agency representatives in regards to Aboriginal Fire and Land Management." 

The big highlight was community sharing of knowledge and applying Aboriginal fire knowledge to country. Mr Whaleboat said, "One of the Aboriginal elders from Biraban LALC stated it was good to see Aboriginal fire practices back on country again. It has been two hundred years since it was last practiced."

For more information about this event contact Toby Whaleboat, Senior Land Services Officer, Aboriginal Communities via phone: 4938 4964 or email:
Some of the participants of the Indigenous Fire Management Workshop.

Celebrating the Landcare ethic and recognising individual excellence in sustainable agriculture

The Bob Hawke Landcare Award celebrates an individual who has been involved in championing the Landcare ethic and inspiring others to take action on their own property or through a Landcare group. This award acknowledges an individual who has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to caring for the land, champions better practices, and gives their time to share knowledge with others so that they too can prosper.

The award acknowledges the role that former Prime Minister, the Hon. Bob Hawke AC, played in elevating Landcare from a grass-roots community initiative to a national movement with strong government support. The Bob Hawke Landcare Award recipient will be awarded with a prize package to the value of $50,000 for further development of their knowledge and skills in sustainable land management and Landcare.

To be eligible for the award, nominees must be actively involved in Landcare or sustainable agriculture and be willing to promote the Landcare ethos. All award nominations will be assessed by an independent advisory panel, including representatives from Australian, state and territory governments, Landcare and the natural resource management community.

Nominations are now open for the 2016 Bob Hawke Landcare Award, and close on 10 July 2016.

For more information go to:

12,000 trees planted to mark World Environment Day  

Hunter environmental organisation WetlandCare Australia and their partner Conservation Volunteers Australia reached the huge milestone of planting 12,000 trees at Hexham Swamp last Friday, just in time to mark World Environment Day on Sunday 5 June.

The project is part of the 20 Million Trees initiative funded by the Australian Government with support from Hunter Water Corporation.

The project was a joint effort with WetlandCare Australia overseeing the works and Conservation Volunteers Australia engaging the planting teams.

WetlandCare Australia’s Project Manager Tim Mouton is delighted with the outcome. “We’ve had some tough conditions with weeks on end of above average temperatures and no rain. It’s fantastic to see the plants in the ground and good rain now to water them in.”

Mr Steve Travers, Hunter Region Manager with Conservation Volunteers Australia praised the local and international volunteers who completed planting on Friday: “Our local volunteers showed great commitment planting the trees, and teams from Carpe Diem and International Student Volunteers in the United States helped swell our numbers to get the plants in the ground.”

Hexham Swamp is listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia, and is part of the Hunter Estuary Important Bird Area. 90% of the swamp’s fringing vegetation has been cleared for agriculture and residential development. 

“This project will help treat pollutants from urban run-off before it reaches the swamp, and increase habitat for wildlife” said Ms Louise Duff.

WetlandCare Australia has been working with communities to protect, restore and promote wetlands since 1991. They are a subsidiary of Conservation Volunteers Australia’s whose mission is to connect people with nature through volunteering opportunities.

For further information please contact WetlandCare Australia Hunter Region Manager, Louise Duff, on 02 4951 1425 or email:

Upcoming events

Tuesday 28 June, 6.30 pm - 8 pm, Marine Discovery Series - Forster, Club Forster, 19 Strand St, Forster. Contact Brian Hughes Ph: 6551 8994 (ext 222) or M: 0428 293 021 or Email:  

Wednesday 29 June, Compost Workshop, Pokolbin Hall, Tyrrell's Vineyard.  Presenters include David Forrest of Forrest Farms (over 30 yrs composting experience); Organic and Biodynamic winemakers David Lowe (Mudgee) and John Kalleske (Barossa Valley). Also a tour of Tyrrell's vineyard composting process. Cost $25. For more information email or phone Liz on 0411 203 773.   

Wednesday 29 June, 9.45 am - 1 pm, Giant Parramatta Grass Information Session, Dungog RSL, Dungog. Please note that places are limited. Please book through Kyra O'Brien at the Tocal LLS office on 4939 8967.

Wednesday 29 June, 9 am - 1 pm, Penenton Creek Source Reduction Plan Workshop, MidCoast Council Office, Breese Parade, Forster.  Contact Brian Hughes Ph: 6551 8994 (ext 222) or M: 0428 293 021 or Email: . 

Thursday 30 June, 5.30 - 8.30 pm, How Truffles & Animals Impacted Australian History, Advanced Technology Centre, ATC210 (Theatre) University of Newcastle Callaghan,

Friday 1 July, 12.30 pm, Mapping soil microbial diversity in Australia: a first approximation, Council Room IDC Building University of Newcastle Callaghan, RSVP to

Wednesday 13 July, 10 am - 1 pm, Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, Workplace Support Skills.  At Tocal Agricultural Centre Tocal Road, Paterson 2421. RSVP to Liane Corocher 0427 188 643

Thursday 21 July, 9 am - 4.30 pm, Australian Association of Bush Regenerators NSW Forum, Teachers Federation Conference Centre, 37 Reservoir St, Surry Hills. Register online at:

Tuesday 26 - 27 July, Hunter Valley Facilitator Training Youth Leading the World, Singleton.  Contact Lena Hammond, OzGREEN or mobile 0416 011 598.  

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

Friday 28 - 30 October, National Biological Farming Conference & Expo 2016.  Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, Queensland. Go to: for more information.  

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. Meet at the Schoolmasters House, Schoolhouse Road, Ash Island.  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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