Limestone Community Involvement Activities
SFM is regularly involved in community engagement across its areas of activity. Below is an update of recent activities in the Green Triangle in relation to the Limestone Estate.
Basalt to Bay
Basalt to Bay delivers community-based Landcare programs in the shires of Moyne and Warrnambool. These programs seek to improve the health of the land and the communities the land supports with on-ground works (native vegetation planting, stock exclusion fencing, weed control, flora and fauna surveys, seed collection, pest animal control, and soil health activities).
In combination with on-ground works, Basalt to Bay also undertakes and supports education and capacity building activities including workshops, field days, demonstration sites, training events, newsletters, and media releases.
In February 2015, SFM joined Basalt to Bay for ongoing projects near the St Helen’s reserve, as there are Limestone Estate plantations in the vicinity – Shalders, Sheehan and Riordan.
Basalt to Bay co-ordinated “The Green Army”- a federally funded program for people aged 17-24 to engage in a practical environmental action programme that supports local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia.
The Green Army cleared invasive/ exotic weeds from along the road in front of Sheehan, and conducted an ecological survey of remnant native vegetation within the Sheehan property. Camera traps were also set on Sheehan to record the presence of fauna, particularly the endangered southern brown bandicoot which has been found in the nearby St Helens Reserve.
Although no bandicoots were recorded at Sheehan, SFM has joined Basalt to Bay fox baiting program in the St Helens/Orford region.
Another of Basalt to Bays projects is ‘The Green Line’. The Green Line is an old railway line, running 37 km between Koroit and Minhamite. The road and rail reserves of The Green Line are one of a small number of places where you can see how the Victorian Volcanic Plain would have looked like prior to European settlement. The reserve is crown land shared by VicTrack and Moyne Shire Council. Conservation efforts on The Green Line are focused on weed removal and reconnecting fragmented habitat.
The Green Line adjoins the Shider Plantation near Hawkesdale. In conjunction with Basalt to Bay, Nature Glenelg Trust, and the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, SFM is investigating restoration of the 2 large wetlands on the Shider property.
Nature Glenelg Trust
A hydrologist from Nature Glenelg Trust has visited 5 properties on the Limestone Estate to assess feasibility of returning historic water levels to wetlands.
Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
A number of Limestone Estate Plantations fall within the focus areas for Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority. There is ongoing discussion between GHCMA and SFM for future projects at Phoines and Runnymede.
Work Experience Student
SFM accepted a student from Heywood Secondary College’s work experience program. Year 10 student Kane Mueller joined SFM’s Field Officer Chloe Levings for a week of fieldwork on the Limestone Estate. A letter from Kane is included below.