Native Plant Workshops

Merriwa locals undergo training in native seed collection, identification & propagation.

Building our Future -

LLCI014-065

Native Plant Workshops

Merriwa locals undergo training in native seed collection, identification & propagation.

The issue

In New South Wales since European settlement at least 61% of the original native vegetation has been cleared, thinned or substantially or significantly disturbed. The benefits of having native vegetation in agricultural land are well understood, and include providing shelter and shade for stock, wind breaks to reduce moisture loss for crops, prevention of erosion and salinization, and providing habitat for natural insectivores that help control crop pests.

The solution

Merriwa Landcare is aiming to promote the role of native vegetation and biodiversity in successful sustainable agriculture, and their goal is to encourage local landholders to preserve remnant vegetation, regenerate endemic grassy woodland and restore native ecosystems on the Merriwa plateau. As a result there has been a lot of interest in sourcing the seed of species endemic to the local district; learning how to identify these native plants; and finding out how to go about establishing a local provenance seed bank. A series of training workshops targeting this was developed by Merriwa Landcare, Hunter Local Land Services & NSW TAFE – Scone and was funded by Training Services NSW.

The impact

The Merriwa Landcare group and community now have a core group of landholders with training in native vegetation identification, seed collection and propagation. Participants learnt about plant names and plant anatomy; how to use a plant key for identification; collected plant samples to press, mount and identify; collected native seed in bushland, processing and storing correctly; discovered and trialed the many varied propagation methods for different native seed and plant species.

This will help to promote the local importance of biodiversity and potentially work towards restoring the endemic grassy woodland, including the endangered White Box Yellow Box Blakely's Red Gum Woodland. Funding is currently being sourced from Local Land Services through the National Landcare Programme for further seed collection for projects helping to rehabilitate the large areas of land stripped by the recent Sir Ivan Bushfire at the western-end of the Merriwa Plateau near Cassilis.

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Key facts

  • 20 people enrolled in the course
  • Studied plant anatomy; identification; collecting/preserving samples; and seed collection, storage and propagation
  • Received NSW TAFE Statement of Attainment: Introduction to Native Plant Identification, Seed Collection and Propagation

Project Partners