Funding Source: Victorian Government – Threatened Species Protection Initiative
Timeline: October 2017 – March 2020
Funding received: $36,030
The State Government loved what we achieved with our last round of funding, so we have been offered the chance to protect more paddock trees in our landscape. This is good news for our paddock trees, the wildlife that live in them and also for you as farmers.
Through natural attrition, die back, storm damage and impacts of farming, we are slowly losing scattered paddock trees from our paddocks, particularly Red Box, White Box and Yellow Box. The death of paddock trees is a major loss for our local biodiversity and agricultural productivity – in some paddocks these trees are the only shade for stock.
This project focuses on the protection of 20 paddock tree sites and the planting of 200 new paddock trees. Paddock tree sites can be either single standing paddock trees or patches of trees (greater funding applies for more trees).
We will also be holding two community engagement events to provide the opportunity for our community to be involved in the conservation of these iconic trees in our landscape. There has been a great deal of interest in our earlier projects, so these community events will provide a platform for launching our completed works sites to the public.
You can also read over our information sheet for further details about the commencement of this project.
At the time of receiving this grant, we were the only Landcare Group in North East Victoria with a project specifically funded to protect paddock trees. Since we commenced this project, we have assisted our neighbouring Landcare Groups in spreading the word, by being invited as a guest speaker at seven other local events over the past two years. Many of these groups have now started their own programs to plant new paddock trees in their local areas.
By October 2019, 21 of our members completed planting 200 new paddock trees across their properties in localities including Greta, Greta West, Greta South, Hansonville, Moyhu, Oxley, Glenrowan and Myrrhee. This part of our project has been so keenly taken up that we are investigating ways in which to purchase more guards for our members, to get even more new paddock trees planted over the next few years.
In March 2018, we hosted our paddock tree field tour to Greta West. We visited three sites completed during 2016/17 and discussed:
- The importance of scattered paddock trees in our landscape
- What types of fauna use these trees and what elements of the trees are important for each species
- The types of fencing configurations implemented at some of the sites, what works for different stock types and landholder preference
- The selection of appropriate shrub species for woodland birds and what species worked best in these sites
- How important good site preparation is to the success of revegetation
- The value of fallen timber in our landscape and why it should be retained ‘messy = good’
- Any lessons learnt or recommendations from landholders who have already completed sites
- Requirements for future maintenance of sites e.g. replanting, choice of more appropriate guards to deter kangaroos.
Our second community event, involved a planting around a patch of large paddock trees at Moyhu for National Schools Tree Day in July 2019. This enthsiastic group of home schoolers planted over 200 shrubs in a couple of hours!
Please read our discussion paper about Paddock Trees – The Lonely Battlers in our Landscape. Funding for this project has helped to put the protection of paddock trees on the local agenda for landholders in our region.
After preliminary assessments and offers of funding, 11 landholders took up the offer of protecting remnant paddock trees on their properties. Over the course of two years, we assisted them to fence around their paddock trees and plant understorey shrubs to attract birds to these sites. In total, we protected over 3ha of land at 17 sites, protecting 46 old remnant trees (Grey Box, Yellow Box, River Red Gum, Ironbark, Red Box, Long-leaved Box and Red Stringybark) and planting another 1500 indigenous shrubs over two years (initial planting in winter 2019 and top up planting in winter 2020) to enhance bird activity at these sites.
The death of paddock trees is a major loss for our local biodiversity and agricultural productivity and we need to begin to replace those being lost in our landscape now. For the trees that we plant today will become the stock shade and habitat for our future generations to enjoy.
Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about this project by calling Sally Day on 0437 136 162 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This grant is funded by the State Government of Victoria, through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Biodiversity Onground Action – Community and Volunteer Action Grants program.