Landcare in good health

Despite a pandemic, lockdowns and uncertainty, Landcare in West Gippsland is thriving and looking optimistically towards the future.

A ‘Health Survey’ of the five Landcare Networks: Maffra and District Landcare Network, Latrobe Landcare Network, Yarram Yarram Landcare Network, South Gippsland Landcare Network and Bass Coast Landcare Network, shows continued interest and passion for protecting and improving the environment.

“This is an amazing result really,” said Regional Landcare Program Officer, Marnie Ellis.

“It looks like the pandemic has reminded people how important caring for the environment is and they are actively doing things to protect and improve it.”

The health survey showed that volunteers spent almost 15,000 hours working on various on ground projects over the previous twelve months.

More than 200 people joined their local Landcare group and more than $2 million was spent from grants received from State and Federal Government.

“While the numbers are good, the dollars spent on Landcare remind us all that caring for the environment can be a driver for the economy too. $2 million is a lot of money which Landcare has helped pump into the Gippsland economy,” said Marnie.

In terms of work done on the ground, the numbers are, again, impressive.

“262 hectares of land have been revegetated on public and private land. Almost 60 kilometres of fencing was installed meaning more than 1000 hectares of remnant vegetation has been protected and restored and more than 23,000 hectares of private property have been treated for pest plants and animals using the best practices available,” added Marnie.

“All up a great effort given the conditions and other life stresses that people have been under this last 12 months.”

Looking forward the Landcare movement is continuing to look optimistically forward.

“Groups right across the region have projects and activities planned, so if someone was thinking about joining a local group now is a good time to do so,” added Marnie.

“There are projects from Warragul to Stratford and Corner Inlet to Licola, so wherever you live, there is a Landcare group that would be delighted to welcome you on board,” concluded Marnie.

More information about local Landcare groups can be found here.

Members of the Arawata Landcare Group
Members of the Arawata Landcare Group - image taken pre-Covid