Hay Plains Landcare are working to build a passionate group of local landholders and community members with a genuine interest in natural resource management and sustainable agriculture.
By becoming part of the Landcare community, you will belong to an iconic Australian movement which cares about making a real difference for the environment, farms and communities.
You will meet like-minded people and work together to have fun, learn new skills, run projects and campaigns to protect the environment and engage with stakeholders and decision makers.
What is Landcare
Landcare is a grassroots movement built on communities and individuals taking collaborative action for the benefit of the environment. Landcare groups organise projects, support volunteers, seek funding and develop partnerships.
Landcare agricultural activities range from sustainable cropping techniques and grazing to local fox and pest and weed control programs, to training in safe chemical use and storage, to coordinated action with neighbouring landholders to plant wildlife
There is a huge range of land, water and region-based activities individuals can get involved with, from bush regeneration and weed control to stabilising riverbanks, to creating walking tracks and working with protected and threatened species.
Landcare groups provide a network of support to assist in the management of our natural resources sustainably in the context of a changing climate and the needs of a growing population.
Landcare groups engage in methods of conservation to protect our environment, including activities that involve sustainable farming education and practices, restoring rivers and waterways, creating wildlife corridors and revegetating bushland.
PEST AND WEED CONTROL
Landcare groups assist local communities to provide education and implement best practice measures to reduce the invasion of threatening species to agriculture.
Landcare implements and maintains the health of natural habitats by controlling and eliminating threats. Landcarers provide knowledge and expertise to local communities for native vegetation conservation and land management through practical implementation and educational workshops
“Look, feel, listen” at Gayini
Thirty-five stakeholders, industry experts and neighbours gathered at Gayini last week, as Nari Nari Tribal Council (NNTC) hosted a Land Management Expo, on the banks of Pollen Creek.
Hay Landcare President Bert Matthews chaired the event and said the changes in the landscape were what real conservation as all about.
“Congratulations on everything you have done, and on what you are yet to achieve,” he said.
NNTC Chair Jamie Woods welcomed everyone to Gayini and gave an overview of the history of the organisation and the pathway to ownership of the 88,000-hectare conservation area. He described NNTC’s philosophy of “look, view, see” in terms of watching change and adapting land management to suit at both Gayini and Toogimbie Indigenous Protected Area (IPA).
Ali Borrell from the Murray Wetlands Working Group spoke about the five-year Saving our Species project at Gayini, monitoring threatened species of waterbirds, and the successful discovery of the endangered Australian Bittern and Australian Painted Snipe. In total the project has recorded 67 different bird species across the Low Bidgee wetlands.
“Gayini is one of the best places in Australia for water bird breeding,” Ms Borrell said.
Guests were treated to a demonstrating of clay seed ball rolling, from Elders Floss Fitzpatrick and Josie Goulding, and under the watchful eye of IPA project manager Tara Dixon, guests got their hands dirty, rolling seeds in mud balls to be dried and used in revegetation efforts.
Postdoctoral researcher within the Murrumbidgee Monitoring, Evaluation and Research team Dr Damien Michael displayed an array of reptiles to the assembled crowd and shared the importance of the discovery of the engendered Grey Curl Snake at Gayini, as well of tales of his studies into snakes and lizards in the region.
He said there are wide gaps in the data of reptiles and the work being done by Charles Sturt University, the University of NSW and others will contribute to the knowledge being built around native species
Riverina Local Land Services (LLS) Biodiversity Officer Suzie Holberry discussed the work of the LLS in the Hay and Balranald regions and the success of the award-winning aerial pest shoot program.
Rene Woods rounded off the afternoon with an explanation of The Nature Conservancy’s work at Gayini and the Great Cumbung Swamp and projects across Australia and the globe.
“When you align the Cumbung, Gayini and Yanga National Park and look at the as one stretch of conservation lands, that totals a quarter of a million hectares,” he said. “That is a significant area being managed for environmental outcomes.”
He applauded the work being done at Gayini. “Gayini is bigger than the size of Tokyo, which is home to 35 million people,” he said. “Out here just 5 people work to manage the whole place.”
After the formalities, guests travelled to areas of floodplain wetlands, recently inundated to reduce pressure on the Murrumbidgee River. The sites, adjacent to Nap Nap Road, are now a haven for water birds, fish and amphibians, and part of the complex water management of environmental flows across the region into Yanga.
Zara Conservation Sandhill
In December 2020, Hay Plains Landcare Group hosted a field trip to the renowned Zara Conservation Sandhill. The event was led by Martin Driver, an Ecologist and Project Manager with the Australian Network for Plant Conservation and owner of Conargo property “Barabool”.
The field trip provided information on native plant management and identification, promoted the benefits of retaining a locally native remnant vegetation site, and educated attendees about which native species could be grown in different landscapes.
This short video includes some incredible footage of “Zara”, together with insights from Martin Driver and Bert Matthews (Chair of Hay Plains Landcare Group).
Revegetation and Regeneration at “Oakville”
In July 2021, Hay Plains Landcare hosted the third day in a series of four Seasons of Seed workshops: Direct seeding and planting, at Oakville, Conargo.
This workshop allowed participants to observe the benefits of native vegetation and habitat corridors for production and conservation. Participants learnt the different methods of direct seeding and planting, with demonstrations of the machinery used on site.
The event was led by Martin Driver, Ecologist and Project Manager with the Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Colin and Marg Bull owners of “Oakville”, and Hay Plains Landcare with Riverina LLS and Murray LLS Seed Services demonstrating the direct seeding on the day.
This short video provides some amazing footage of “Oakville”, together with insights from Martin Driver, Colin Bull, Natasha Lappin (Murray LLS) and Lucinda Williamson (Hay Plains Landcare)