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G'Day Landcarers,
I hope this email finds you well, enjoying the freedoms of no more lockdown and an undoubtedly busy end to the year!

As I write this, the Far South Coast is receiving another solid drenching and the outlook for a wet summer under La Niña conditions is looking accurate. Besides the soaking rains, I have been enjoying the flowering of the hyacinth orchids in my local patch of bushland and hearing the noisy friarbirds prattle away out the window, noisily! What have you been noticing at your place?

The fact that 2021 is almost over comes as a bit of a shock as the last few months have passed by quickly and enjoyably with many events and catch-ups squeezed in. I am delighted to report that we have two new Landcare groups that have formed on the Far South Coast, you can read more about the Beauty Point Bushcare Group and the Merimbula Lake Landcare group below. 

Across the district, our Landcare groups have been working hard and achieving great things for their local area, with many plantings happening and working bees held to tackle the weeds that have capitalised on the wet conditions through spring. I know many of our groups are having a well-earned break over summer and I hope you all get a chance to relax and recharge.

As we look ahead to 2022, we hope that COVID restrictions won't impact our Landcare activities in the same way they have in the last two years.  2022 is set to offer many opportunities for hands-on caring for our land and water, and chances to bring community together over shared concern and care for their local patch. I look forward to catching up with you all in the new year and working together to support your group to work towards their Landcare goals.

The FSCLA office will be closed over the Christmas break and I will be back on deck in mid-January (Jean will be back in February). Next year my days in the FSCLA office will be most Thursdays and Fridays. Please feel welcome to contact me by phone or email and if you are planning to pop in to the office, let me know so I can make sure to be there. 

Wishing you all the best for your summer break.
See you in the new year, Jess

Contact FSCLA:

Jess Bettanin
Local Landcare Coordinator
Far South Coast Landcare Association 

Ph: 02 6494 7856
Mob: 0477 063 920
Old Plumb Motors Office
69-71 Auckland St Bega

(I work Wed, Thurs and Fri)

Beauty Point Bushcare 
By Bushcare Volunteer Coordinator Rebecca Rudd

📷: Beauty Point Bushcare Volunteers at a Working Bee
Beauty Point has a new, but keen as mustard, Bushcare group. Our area focuses around the village and along the edge of Wallaga Lake. We have started work on garden escapes – Jasmine, Black-eyed Susuan, Cliva, Daisies and the rich assortment goes on.
We are looking forward to working on the more serious environmental weeds – Asparagus Fern, Cotoneaster, Cape Ivy (to name a few) that threaten the valuable habitat in our area. Habitats include saltmarsh, Casuarina glauca forest and Coastal Eucalypt Forest. T
he group have developed an action plan to guide their work and in 2022 the group will focus on improving and protecting the precious natural areas that is our backyard and the home for many critters. We would like to thank FSCLCA and BVSC for their kind support in helping us to establish as a group.
Merimbula Lake Landcare
By Volunteer Coordinator Helen Williamson
In late September '21, Ann Wykes and Helen Williamson formed the Merimbula Lake Landcare group. There are now 7 members who attend regular weeding sessions each Thursday afternoon 3pm to 4pm. The meeting place is the BBQ shelter at Rotary Park. The main focus initially has been the removal of polygala, fireweed and asparagus fern from Spencer Park to the start of the new walkway. The results in just a few weeks have been very satisfying and soon the group will be able to continue weeding in the direction of Bar Beach.

📷: Helen and Ann with a mass of Polygala removed from Rotary Park
Privet seedlings and honeysuckle will be added to the list of weeds which they will target. Without the intensive work already done through the Bega Shire Council Greenshores Connections project  the weed control in the bush land along Lake Street would have been too overwhelming for a small group of volunteers. Although the rain and warm weather have brought about mass germination of weeds the group will do what they can to remove seedlings and help restore the bush land to its natural state.
📷: Helen with a huge pile of polygala that the group pulled out at the corner of Cliff & Lake St
The Rehabilitation of Candelo Creek: 20 Years of Community Care & Commitment
Candelo resident Richard Barcham has recently put together a wonderfully informative series of posts on the Candelo and District Landcare Facebook page that tell the story of the rehabilitation of Candelo Creek and the work of the Candelo and district Landcare Group for over two decades. The series details the enormous amount of volunteer work that the Landcare group have put into controlling willows and other weeds, and reestablishing native vegetation. The successful outcomes of these many years of community effort are evident today with many Candelo locals enjoying the beauty and biodiversity of the creek right in town and the return of key species such as the melodic Reed Warbler, a species that the group use in their logo to symbolise the return of native animals and biodiversity to the creek. 

📷: Candelo Landcare Volunteers at a recent planting day
As Richard puts it, "the rehabilitation of Candelo Creek has been a huge community effort over more than twenty years. The work has been a great example of the successful fusion of academic research, government commitment and community action. The research provided the evidence base to guide decisions, government commitment was matched with funding, and the community put the work in with dedication and persistence."

Landcare - A reflection by Fenella Temmerman
Fenella Temmerman normally splits her time between Winnepeg, Canada and Merimbula. With international borders closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fenella couldn't return to Canada and was stuck in Merimbula, together with her husband Ray. They made the most of the situation and became involved in a number of community activities. Below are Fenella's reflections on her experience volunteering with Tura Mirador and Pambula Beach Landcare:

Over these past few years Landcare has become a significant part of my life; in Tura and Pambula Beaches, and along the Seine River in Canada. Landcare in Manitoba was born directly out of my experience with Tura Beach Landcare in 2016, and is now completing its fifth year.
Landcare – just a few local people aiming to do the impossible - weed a forest, the dunes or the banks of a river; local people meeting regularly to remove invasives, plant trees, restore habitat; scatter native seeds and take away rubbish. Here in Tura Beach, Landcare maintains the Mundooi Walk through coastal bush and around remnant patches of native forest. Mundooi means “to walk with your feet” in Dhurga language as spoken by the local Djiringanj people.
 In Pambula Beach a committed group of local residents restore coastal bushland  protecting it from invasive species that would otherwise colonise the area.  Stopping for drinks and snacks, conversation and story are an essential part of the life of both groups. I love the conversations too that happen when one is on one’s knees in the forest digging out invasive roots; I love the local community that grows from the forest floor, and all that happens when we get our hands dirty together. Mostly, I love the satisfaction that we can work together in the great outdoors to make a difference.
To Celia and to Lyn, thank you for your inspired and faithful leadership over many years, your
energy and knowledge.   Thank you, team; you are an important part of my life here. I will return!


📷: Tura Mirador Landcare Vollies break work for an all-import cuppa and a chat
Bush Connect - Project Update
The Bush Connect project, funded by the NSW Environmental trust and run by FSCLA since 2015 has had a great year. With the objective of establishing and enhancing priority bush land corridors, linking up the escarpment and coastal forests. 25 property owners have partnered with FSCLA, with much hard work being done to now have 13 projects completed, 4 in progress and 8 new projects getting ready for planting in Autumn 2022.
The drought and bushfire of 2019/2020 slowed our progress, however Chris Post’s initial work in signing up enthusiastic landowners and high conservation value projects gave us a solid foundation to launch from this year. This coincided with an amazing Spring/Summer rainfall resulting in a very productive tree-planting season. Our skilled and experienced contractors stepped up and so far we have 17,000 plants in the ground, with another 3,500 due to go in next Autumn. 17km of fencing has been installed, protecting 50Ha of plantings and 56ha of regenerating bush land.
Bush Connect is looking to partner with and assist local Landcare groups, to add extra value to our outcomes and to continue to encourage community participation in restoring our natural environment. We have some remaining funding for this purpose. Interested groups can contact Jess or the Bush Connect Coordinator, Donovan Adcock, on 0404 645 709.

📷: Bush Connect Coordinator Donovan Adcock on the job
New EcoCrew in the Bega Valley
A new team of enthusiastic young people have hit the ground working on environmental projects across the Bega Valley. The EcoCrew is made up of 6 young locals and a team supervisor, and is hosted by Campbell Page with funding from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund. The crew and their supervisor, Isolde Kammerman, will work with Bega Valley Shire Council, Local Land Services and Landcare groups to undertake on-ground environmental projects. 

In their first few weeks, the crew have been working in the Lake Curalo reserve in Eden, learning to cut and paint Tree of Heaven, tackling Polygala and Privet in the lake foreshore reserve in Merimbula and on various weeds at Pambula Beach, under the direction of the Pambula Beach Landcare. 
If you have ideas on how the crew could help support your group at your Landcare sites, please let me know. There will be another recruitment round for a second round of EcoCrew trainees so please spread the word if you know local young people who may be interested in working in the environment sector. 

📷: Members of the EcoCrew working in Jiguma Reserve, Pambula Beach
Community Planting in Eden
Bega Valley Shire Council have organised a community planting evening at Aslings Beach in Eden.
Come along from 4pm to 6pm on Wednesday 15th December to help restore the native dune vegetation.
 Healthy dunes are essential for coastline protection and play an important role in beach resilience. Participants don’t need to register; just come along with enclosed shoes and gloves. 
We are due to hold an AGM for the Far South Coast Landcare Association and we will soon finalise a date and let all our members know. All FSCLA members are invited to attend the AGM and now is a good time to think about nominating to sit on the FSCLA committee. The committee is made up of a fantastic group of volunteers with enormous skills and experience in looking after the natural resources of our district. Joining the committee is a great way to become more involved with Landcare and to support our local communities to achieve environmental and agricultural outcomes. The committee is looking for new members to join and will greatly benefit from any new skills, perspectives and ideas you could bring. 

FSC Koala Action Network - Planting Day Success
The Koala Action Network (KAN) are a group of concerned and committed locals striving to protect the resident Koala populations here on the Far South Coast. KAN formed a little over two years ago and brings together people who are interested in developing and implementing a local koala action strategy to care for our local koalas. You can read more about how KAN formed and what they have achieved so far here. KAN come under the auspices of the Far South Coast Landcare Association. 

One of KAN's objectives is to facilitate a koala habitat restoration project that landholders and community can get involved in. Although COVID has put up some hurdles, KAN are making good headway and in late November KAN coordinated a tree planting day on a private property to the South of Cobargo. Volunteers planted 100 koala browse species aiming to improve koala habitat on fire affected land adjacent to the area of koala significance in the Biamanga/Murrah landscape.

One of KAN's volunteers, Josie O'Connell said of the day "highlights included meeting the great neighbouring volunteers of Barrabaroo Landcare, the knowledge exchange across the group, not to mention the plethora of delicious food and chats when all was done!". "The beating heart of KAN, Chris Allen shared his knowledge and thoughts on the local koala community in the Murrah/Biamanga landscape, and how it is thought koala communities are structured. We also talked about what may have contributed to the decline of the koala population in the area and how little the human community really knows about koalas, and that there is a lot of lost knowledge which is being pieced together a little by little". See below photos of KAN volunteers in action on the day. 

Bega Circular Economy Webinar: Intro to Natural Capital (carbon & biodiversity)
The Bega Circular Valley Initiative is inviting locals to attend an online forum exploring economic opportunities in natural capital. The webinar includes an introduction to the regional circularity cooperative, farm forestry, on farm soil carbon, estuary and ocean blue carbon and emission reduction for livestock industries. 
Wednesday 15th Dec 2021.  Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Where: zoom Meeting. To register click on the image below:

Landcare Small Grants Program - opening soon!

On 8th December the $3million Landcare Small Grants funding was announced to support Landcare groups in NSW. The funding is part of the NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package and will be delivered by Local Land Services. Landcare groups across NSW will have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to deliver on-ground projects such as riverbank and stream restoration, on-farm erosion works and tree planting. 

Applications are expected to be open by early 2022, however, if you are interested in the program or already have a project in mind, please contact me and we can discuss your project proposals. You can read more about the grant funding here.

Local Flavour: the Candelo Roadshow Radio Hour Podcast

Do you listen to podcasts? Personally, I love 'em and I love how you can just about find a podcast on any topic you may be interested in. I recently listened to this series of four podcasts called the Candelo Roadshow Radio Hour, created in Candelo and featuring some very talented Bega Valley residents and wonderful local stories and songs. The show explores the concept of home and ideas about how we live in and care for our landscapes. Whether you are a Podcast convert like me, or new to the genre, I highly recommend a listen to this one! Find it online or in your podcast apps.

Copyright © 2021 Far South Coast Landcare Association, All rights reserved.
​I wish to acknowledge the Traditional Carers of this land on which we live and work: the Yuin people and their Elders past, present and future. I acknowledge and respect their continuing culture, connection to and care for country and its creatures on the Far South Coast.

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Far South Coast Landcare · 69-71 · Auckland Street · Bega, Nsw 2550 · Australia

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