In April 2016, the Gazette Landcare Group hosted a field day for the community to showcase the on ground works completed by the group members in recent years. The afternoon involved a bus trip to several sites around Gazette and was attended by 20 people.
Each person received a tree and guard to take away and plant kindly donated by ERA Nurseries in Hamilton. The afternoon concluded with a community tea held at the Buckley Swamp Hall and was attending by many members of the Buckley Swamp Community. The Field Trip was partially funded by the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority.
The first stop was the Twomey’s Bridge Sandpit situated on Twomey’s Bridge Rd along the Yatchaw drain. The site is a 10 acre ex DSE which became a local tip. Funding was sought to clear out the area and renew the boundary fence. Several waterholes were created for the native wildlife and in 2004/2005 the area was planted out with native trees and grasses with the assistance of school groups and community planting days. The aim of this project was to inspire and encourage landholders to undertake their own revegetation works. The area also provides a seed bank for many indigenous species. The site was opened in 2005 and is a memorial site for late president Austin Uebergang.
The landcare groups within this area have for a number of years worked on creating biolinks throughout their region between Mt Napier and Mt Rouse, creating a safe passage for wildlife and revegetating with indigenous species. The bus tour included the properties of 4 long term group members who have contributed to this task, finding a way to make landcare a priority in different land Ecological Vegetation Classes. Greg and Annie Linke proved that the stony volcanic country in this area is no barrier in undertaking revegetation works when they direct seeded a corridor in exactly this type of country. Nick and Sarah Moyle have proved that the increase in shelter belts throughout their property has also assisted in increased production and much happier and healthier stock. They have been extremely successful with their direct seeding of indigenous trees into plantations. Area’s seeded 3 years ago are already in excess of 3 metres high! Lloyd and Jenny Mirtschin have undertaken a number of revegetation passages throughout their property including a number that protects waterways flowing through their property. Jeff & Morna Semmens property backs onto the Mt Napier National Park and is essentially the beginning of the passage. The majority of their planting has been undertaken by hand with a crown bar required to dig each hole for every tree!