MCCL wins Environment Award

Martindale Creek Catchment Landcare awarded the Environment Award at Muswellbrook Shire Council's 2017 Australia Day Awards.

Making a Difference -

xxxx

MCCL wins Environment Award

Martindale Creek Catchment Landcare awarded the Environment Award at Muswellbrook Shire Council's 2017 Australia Day Awards.

The issue

Martindale Creek and its surrounding catchment was becoming more and more inundated with weeds. Individual landholders struggled alone to implement controls while the weed burden kept increasing, with new weed species emerging to add to this burden. While chatting over the fence brought some landholders together for support in ideas and actions, it wasn't until GER Stepping Stones took on to do a length-of-creek project to target Green Cestrum and African Boxthorn that the whole community began to discuss the issue together. While ultimately this project had little overall impact on the particular weeds targeted, what impact it did have was to galvanise the community into banding together.

The solution

In 2014, with support from Muswellbrook Shire Council, GERSS, NPWS, the Upper Hunter Weeds Authority and Hunter Region Landcare Network, the local communities of Martindale, Horseshoe and Bureen banded together to look into forming a Landcare group. These communities encompass the lower catchment for Martindale Creek, an important tributary for the Hunter River in the Upper Hunter. The headwaters of Martindale Creek are found in the beautiful northern Wollemi National Park. Under leadership from some residents with relevant skills, the community formed a steering committee and then formalised an Incorporated Landcare group in December 2014. Membership has now increased to around 40.

Since then, MCCL has had a successful beginning to their activities targeting weeds and their impact on agriculture and the environment. On-ground works have been undertaken to control some of the problem weeds, with funding from the Jaramas Foundation through Landcare Australia.

The impact

Muswellbrook Shire Council honoured MCCL with the Environment Award at the 2017 Shire Australia Day Awards. Members are excited to have this Award as recognition for the hard work they have put into the local community.

MCCL continues on-ground works and aims to provide education to the community on a range of Landcare-relevant issues, holding field days, training days and workshops within the local area. To date we have held sessions on such topics as weed identification and control; bird identification and surveys; chemical application and handling training; and native grasses in the landscape and agriculture. Upcoming events include follow up on native grasses with a property visit to see the methods in action, and training in camera trap surveys for native and feral wildlife.

 

Key facts

  • Working together as a community has had a greater impact.
  • Education is an important part of our activities.
  • Environment and agriculture go hand in hand.
  • Local and wider communities support each other.
  • Weeds, native wildlife, threatened species, sustainable ag practices