The Scoop

Private Land Conservation Matters – Recent Events

Two events have been delivered recently on the PLCM calendar.  Koala Spotting workshop at Duns Creek All eyes were up in the trees for this part of the Koala spotting workshop held at Duns Creek brought to you be HRLN with support from the BCT and NSW Koala Strategy... read more

Meet our new staff members

With the expansion of the Landcare Enabling Program 2023 – 2027, Hunter Region Landcare Network has recruited additional staff to help with our everyday operations.  We’d like to welcome Helen Rubeli as our new Landcare Support Officer based at our main Landcare... read more

Tree Identification and Indigenous Knowledge Workshops Recap

Following on from last year’s successful bush food workshops Hunter Local Land Services has brought the team back together for another series of workshops this time on plants, cultural knowledge, artefacts and sites and what to do if you find them.  Presented by... read more

Nursery News – April 24

1100 plants out this month from our Muswellbrook nursery, still a bit short on room and many seedlings to pot up before spring and will be having regular propagation mornings the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 9:30 till about 12:30 at our nursery at 127... read more

Plant of the Month: Not a Murder Chicken!

Despite being named for their leaves resemblance to the feathers of the Cassowary Casuarinas are unlikely to attempt to disembowel you should you startle one while out bushwalking, unlikely, but no guarantees. While they may look like pine trees, Casuarinas (and... read more

Wine Country Community Day

On the 11th of April Wine Country Landcare had a community day to display recent works to establish a bushfood garden at Wine House, Hunter Valley. After the Welcome to Country by Aunty Tracey Skene, Upper Hunter coordinator Paul Melehan talked about the plants in the... read more

What’s in a Name? Critter Time

So far we’ve looked mostly at plant names and what they mean but as an equal opportunities columnist I figured I’d better do something for the critter lovers amongst us and translate a few animal names Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus Tachy – fast, -glossus... read more

Plant of the Month – Grains

Sigh, I was wr….. Not exactly right…. You know how you’ve been telling people stuff for almost 30 years and no one’s ever corrected you and finally you get around to trying it and…… Grains have been quite a common food item across many cultures, high in carbohydrates... read more

News from Dungog Common Landcare

Dungog Common Landcarers were able to capture a very rare sight while out on the common this month- not only the Cynanchum elegans (White-flowered Wax Plant-  Endangered under the EPBC Act) in flower, but wait…. also the caterpillar of the moth that lays her eggs on... read more

Collaborative ‘Dig-It’- Lake Liddell Recreation Reserve

As part of the Dig-It Grant obtained from Local Land Services in April 2022 and a Landcare Grant from Muswellbrook Shire Council, Lake Liddell hosted another planting day on Friday 22nd March 2024. Ten volunteers from AGL’s Bayswater Power Station were involved with... read more

Weed Grants 2024

Grants are open for Landcare groups to tackle weed issues in the Hunter.  If you have a project in mind, reach out to your local landcare coordinator to discuss options and advice for loger term projects.

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Bird of the Month: Eastern Koel

The Eastern Koel- previously called the Common Koel is not so common in its rearing behaviour. It’s called brood parasitism and I personally find it fascinating. This photo was taken recently of a fledgling koel squawking for food from the little wattlebird surrogate mother. 

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Plant of the Month: Lotions and Potions!

I generally keep away from the medicinal uses of native plants as there’s a lot of cultural significance and sometimes ceremony attached to the use and preparation of them, but there are a few I refer to as “first aid plants” which I find are quite useful to have a... read more

Ask a Plant Nerd: Grass

Grasses and lots of other plants can tell us a lot about soil type, fertility, moisture, land use, fire history, salinity and so on, it’s not an exact science but knowing plants and some of their ecological requirements helps us to understand our sites better and to better manage them. 

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WE’RE HIRING! Come and work with us.

Come and work with us. Hunter Region Landcare Network (HRLN) and Mid Coast to Tops Landcare Connection (MC2TL) have a number of roles to fill for energetic and enthusiastic team members. We are looking to fill four (4) new positions:

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More local support with regional guidance for Landcare in the Hunter region

Landcare in the Hunter region has gained enhanced funding under the NSW Landcare Enabling Program. In the first phase of its $59 million state-wide program, the NSW Government has committed funds for the employment of more local and regional coordinators and administration support officers by Landcare across NSW, until 30 June 2027. This comprehensive support program will be managed jointly by Local Land Services and Landcare NSW.

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Plant of the Month: Arr, me scurvy dogs!

Ok, so it’s a little early for International Talk Like a Pirate Day but one issue for pirates, other seafarers and more than a few landlubbers was the disease of scurvy brought about by lack of Vitamin C in the diet, this was a big issue in the Royal Navy till young Jimmy Cook had lemons, limes and sauerkraut as mandatory dietary items for his underlings as they bobbed about the world’s oceans (“no dessert for you till you’ve sucked on a lemon”). 

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What’s in a Name? In the lap of the Gods.

One of the more common practices in botany and zoology is to name a species after a Greek or Latin god or figure of legend, here’s a few of them.

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Are you a Landcarer in the Newcastle Electorate?

HRLN has grant funds available to groups in the Newcastle Electorate for on-ground landcare projects for planting and mulching, weeding and erosion control, creation of interpretive signage or guided walks, maintenance of natural areas, engaging the wider community in... read more

Community Recognition Statement – EarthCare Park Landcare

EarthCare Park Landcare, a beacon of environmental stewardship, earned well-deserved recognition at the Parliament of NSW Legislative Assembly on September 19, 2023. MP Jenny Aitchison, the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, took a moment to formally acknowledge the remarkable achievements of EarthCare Park Landcare group for their outstanding work on their 50-hectare site in East Maitland.

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Fire Ants

You may have heard of a sighting of fire ants on the North Coast of NSW.

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The Housing crisis is real – for native fauna.

We know that nest boxes are not as good as the real thing – You can’t beat what nature offers in a mature ecosystem, a nice variety of hollows in different shapes and sizes. But we can help with the shortage in the short term, while nature works its magic.

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Tubestock plants supplied through Landcare

1,460 trees found new homes over the festive season from our nursery.

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Private Land Conservation Matters

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust is partnering with Landcare NSW to raise awareness on the importance of conservation on private land, and has funded the Private Land Conservation program in the Hunter Region for 2024.

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State & Territory Landcare Awards

Time is ticking by to submit your award nomination for yourself or someone you think has made an awesome contribution to Landcare and community resilience of the past year or so.

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NSW DPE Koala Survey

The NSW DPE would like to invite Landcare community members to participate in the first field-based, statewide koala baseline survey in NSW.

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Firesticks Recognition Ceremony and Hunter Local Land Services Cultural Fire Forum

Congratulations to the first graduates of the Hunter Region, Firesticks Cultural Burn, Fire Practitioner Course, a three year journey supported by LLS and Tocal College. read more

Growing Together: A Flourishing Month for Landcare Plant Distribution!

In the heart of Muswellbrook, our Landcare nursery has been buzzing with activity this month as we proudly distributed a whopping 1150 plants to eager Landcarers. The green thumb community is thriving, and the total number of tubestock plants shared among Landcarers... read more

Weed Rep Wanted

Expressions of Interest are invited for a Landcare representative to be appointed to the Hunter Regional Weeds Committee, the committee meets three times per year and provides advice and feedback on weed related issues in the Hunter Local Land Service area.

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A Koala Tree Effort

Deloitte Ltd has recently donated a few thousand trees to Aussie Ark and Hunter Region Landcare Network.  The trees donated to Aussie Ark will be used to enhance the mid story areas in their enclosures providing habitat for the smaller critters Aussie Ark is breeding,... read more

Plant of the Month: Looking for some hot stuff…

If you’re a late Boomer or early Gen Xer you’ve probably now got this earworm going (Millenials and Gen Y or Z should watch as well to see what cool music really is), this month we’re looking at some native herbs and spices (some of which have been used in our current... read more

Landline Feature: Broke Bulga Landcare’s River Red Gum

Broke Bulga Landcare’s River Red Gum restoration project was featured in a story on how the Restore and Renew research project by Botanic Gardens of Sydney is helping to save the endangered Hunter population of River Red Gum. Watch from 42:20 to see the feature.

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The Marvels of Australian Mistletoe: Busting Common Myths

Australian mistletoe plays a crucial role in supporting biodiversity, punching above its weight in ecological significance

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Aries Way Landcare

A recent series of volunteer days at Aries Way Reserve at Elermore Vale, saw more key areas of the reserve rehabilitated.

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Mt Vincent Landcare

With an idyllic location, morning tea, and good company, the Mt Vincent Landcare members and our Coordinators met to undertake a planning session to identify the group needs and workshop priorities for the next 3 ½ years. As a private landowner group but also working on Council bushland reserves, the group came up with a range of priorities for the future. Keep an eye out for their upcoming activities in the new year.

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Plant of the Month: Would you like a cuppa?

When you’re out of tea (or coffee) you’ll pretty much use anything and that must have led to some interesting experimentation by the first colonists, I’m guessing many were tried with some very interesting results before settling on some more or less acceptable “tea” making species.

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Native Bush Tucker planting with Hunter Valley Wine Country Landcare

With 20mm of rain falling in Pokolbin on the 27th and 28th October, we picked a good time to hold the Native Bush Tucker planting at Winehouse Hunter Valley in Pokolbin.  

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Water for Wildlife

In the wake of the catastrophic drought and fires in 2019-2020, WIRES launched the WATER FOR WILDLIFE program with The University of Sydney to provide supplementary water for arboreal wildlife.

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Aussie Ark Visit & Weedy Weekends coming in 2024

Recently the Hunter Region Landcare Network and Mid Coast to Tops Landcare Connection visited Aussie Ark for our monthly gathering. What a treat it was to see the valuable work in wildlife conservation happening right in our region! Thousands of hectares of conservation land that is fully fenced against pest species such as foxes and feral pigs, to provide a safe area for wildlife to thrive and breed in the wild.

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Kotara Park Landcare Update

Last month saw the revival of Kotara Park Landcare with the help of Scout Groups from Kotara, Maryland and Shortland.

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Friends of Tomaree Landcare Group – Site Visit

When you join the Hunter Region Network, you not only have the opportunity to add value and skills to the planning and delivery of local and regional landcare projects, you also get to see landcare projects in action on the 3rd Monday of each month at our committee... read more

Landcare Farming video series in the Hunter

Hunter Region Landcare Network has produced a three part video series about Peter Dreyer, Gresford Landcare member and farmer who is putting soil health and ecology first in his production, to inspire all of us for a better future.  In this captivating three-part... read more

2023 NSW Environmental Education Awards

The Awards are presented to individuals, programs and businesses who have made an exemplary contribution to the field of environmental education.

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2023-24 Newcastle Volunteer Grants

The Volunteer Grants program offers grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 to support, encourage and increase participation in volunteering in local communities. These grants help community organisations support their volunteers by making their volunteering work easier, safer and more enjoyable. 

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Our Bushland: Home of the Regent Honeyeater poster competition

The winning schools in the Our Bushland: Home of the Regent Honeyeater poster competition were Mulbring Public School and St.Patrick’s Cessnock, while winning students came from Mulbring Public School, St Patrick’s Cessnock and West Cessnock Public School.

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Dungog’s Iconic Weeping Lilly Pilly Trees (500 to 1000 years old)

The removal of privet from the banks of the Williams River at Abbott’s Flat has uncovered one of Dungog’s secret treasures – the magnificent ancient Weeping Lilly Pillys, previously hard to see because of encroaching greenery and the branches of weeds.

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Cane Toad season is fast approaching, and we are on the lookout.

Think you have seen a cane toad? They can be easily mistaken for large native frogs.

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Funding for Landcare groups in the Newcastle Electorate

Hunter Region Landcare Network has been granted funding through the NSW Government Premier’s Department, thanks to Tim Crakenthorp MP, your Member for Newcastle.

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Plant of the Month: In the Grip of the Grape

You may not know it but Australia has quite a few native members of the grape family (Vitaceae). We’re all familiar with Vitis vinifera (and other table and wine grapes) but less well known is that Australia is home to around 30 members of the Vitaceae family, occurring in all mainland states except South Australia (though I think they make up for it with production of Vitis vinifera).

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Hunter Region Planning for the next 4 years of the National Landcare Program

Our Coordinators from the Hunter Region Landcare Network are now scheduling visits to all Landcare groups and private landowner Landcare groups in the Hunter region to assess the needs and capture the ideas of each group/ area for the next 4 years of the National Landcare Program funding. 

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The Banksia Foundation Sustainability Awards

All of our Landcarers deserve recognition for the work they do on their patch and the Hunter Region Landcare Network can provide member groups with a letter of support for a grant or award application that your group wishes to apply for. Just send us an email with a... read more

Soil carbon innovation project OPPORTUNITY for farmers.

Farmlab is working with the University of Queensland project on a $4m project funded by the Fed Govt (A/B Testing areas of carbon on farms) Check out this brief intro video: Register for the Project Our project is a part of the Federal Government’s National Soil... read more

Opportunity for landowners in the Upper Hunter LGA to earn annual payments for protecting remnant native vegetation.

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is offering landholders in the Upper Hunter Shire the opportunity to earn annual payments to protect remnant native vegetation on their property. To help you better understand the Upper Hunter conservation tender the BCT... read more

Congewai Landcare Update

Thanks to the generous funding from HRLN, Congewai Valley Landcare was able to run a fabulous eucalypt identification workshop on Saturday July 22 in the Congewai School Hall.

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Drop into our Landcare Office at the Hunter Wetlands Centre

We get numerous visitors to our office of the bird kind, including Pie the resident Magpie Goose, but did you know you can drop in and see us in our office at the Hunter Wetlands Centre? Staff and volunteers are often onsite Mondays and Wednesdays, so if you want to... read more

Bush Tucker Workshop Series Success

The Hunter Region Landcare Network recently hosted our second Bush Tucker Workshop at Singleton Community Garden, alongside our collaborators from Hunter Local Land Services and others. Participants were able to learn about bush tucker and experience seeing, feeling,... read more

Understanding Your Property By the Property Detective Part 13

Where are you at with your understanding of your property? After a year of articles, I thought it appropriate that we review our understanding of what we have explored over the past year. By using Sixmaps we are able to accurately locate our property and compare the... read more

Plant of the Month: Fruits of the Forest

Another vegetation type which is high in numbers of edible plants are the rainforests, we’ve previously talked about the Magenta Lily Pilly (Szyzigium paniculatum) and Sandpaper Fig (Ficus coronata) Plum Pine, (Podocarpus elatus) (Gurra-warra – Kattang) Also... read more

Lake Liddell Recreation Area Update

Since 2004, Lake Liddell Landcare has planted more than 22,000 trees and undertaken erosion control, mulching trials, vegetation mapping, wind breaks, salinity studies and weed removal. Recently, Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) apprentices planted 420 trees at the Lake... read more