Keeping you up to date with local Landcare news.

KCLG incorporates independent Baranduda and Yackandandah Creek as well as fully-merged Kiewa-Bonegilla, Kergunyah, Gundowring, Dederang Primary School & Upper Kiewa Landcare Groups. KCLG has a volunteer committee of representatives from our Landcare groups with one paid position of Landcare Facilitator.

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Welcome back to Landcare and to the new look eNews for 2021! Hoping you all have had a happy time over the festive season and found some time to put the old feet up. It’s hard to know what’s ahead for 2021 in regards to group activities, particularly ones indoors, but there is always plenty that can be done anyway. Some articles below to help get the ideas flowing and some planning underway for 2021 projects! Keep your eye on this newsletter for what’s on and Landcare ideas for your property.

If you or your Landcare Group have anything you’d like to have included in the next monthly issue of the eNews, such as a planting day you’d like a hand with, an event or a little story on your own Landcare project. Please send through with photos/jpg’s to

Frogs in farm dams

Michelle Littlefair, PhD student, Fenner School of Environment and Society. This article originated from the Sustainable Farms e-newsletter.

This spring saw the completion of my first season of fieldwork as part of my PhD project. Through my research I hope to learn more about the distribution and breeding patterns of frog populations in agricultural landscapes and how to best manage and restore farm dams in order to support, and hopefully improve, the declining frog populations of Australia.

During spring I visited 60 fenced and unfenced dams across 18 farms throughout the South West Slopes of NSW. I initially surveyed each dam for habitat quality during the day then followed up with two night time frog surveys.

Each frog survey was divided into a ten-minute call survey where I listened and recorded each species and individual frogs calling, and an active search survey where I looked for frogs, tadpoles and eggs through vegetation, around leaf litter and logs and along the water’s edge. I also set up audio recording devices at 36 of the dams which recorded continuously throughout the night over ten days.

While my research is far from finished, I did make a few interesting observations. In general, fenced dams had considerably more species and more individuals than unfenced dams. Dams accessed by cattle and with little or no vegetation almost always had no frogs present. Most fenced dams had three to four different species of frog, generally the eastern sign-bearing froglet, Peron's tree frog (pictured), spotted marsh frog and giant banjo frog. However a few especially busy dams had six species, with the addition of the smooth toadlet and common eastern froglet. Having this many frog species is a great indication of a healthy dam with a well-functioning ecosystem.

Revegetation on your property

There are plenty of good reasons to plant native vegetation on your property. You may need to create shade for livestock and somewhere for them to shelter from winds too. Maybe you have erosion or potential erosion issues that need attention sooner rather than later. Could your creek bank or gully do with revegetating to stabilise the soil in flood events and help with filtration and water quality improvement. Perhaps you’d like more pollinators or beneficial predator insects and birds to control pests and plagues?

Planting local native species will ensure you have a plantation that survives and thrives in your soil type, rainfall amount and climate. Whether your objective is to create a shelterbelt, woodlot or wildlife corridor, observing the potential sites for these revegetation projects is important to do now and ongoing through all the seasons. Working towards a plan takes time and lots of considerations need to be taken into account before the actual planting part of the project in the winter months. Planning which site to revegetate this winter and which other sites will be done in following years helps to incorporate strategic summer weed control work. Replanting or increasing the density of plants on a site (the one pictured), such as increase the understory shrubs or grasses, can also be part of the ongoing revegetation plan.

Revegetation resources:




Dispersive soils

Have you got this sort of soil erosion problem on your property? This type of soil is called dispersive or sodic and there are a few key things to do if you have found this happening on your property. This particular soil is found on a property in Upper Gundowring on a west facing slope. If it wasn’t for fencing off this area and revegetating it, this small patch of erosion would be a whole lot worse than this. Here is a great piece of info on this soil type and what the options are:

Bush Regenerate or Revegetate?

Areas that are weed infested are an eyesore (to those who see the weeds and not just greenery!) and often we think straight away that the weed needs to be sprayed. But if your intention is to revegetate the area and bring back the native plant community, it can be more effective to remove the competition (weeds) and let the native species reestablish, rather than spray and replant. Yes this bush regeneration approach will take a while, and several follow up sessions may be needed even after the main weed plants are removed, but long term can be very rewarding with far more species diversity as the outcome. As you would know, it’s near impossible to spray weeds without knocking off some native plants in the process. Herbicide also kills everything in the soil and leaves a barren, un-resilient, weed seed prone and vulnerable soil. So if you are prepared to do things slowly by hand but have a better long-term outcome (many hands will make lighter work!) and trial a bush regeneration approach instead, here are the steps to make the assessment on whether this is the right site to trial it on:

  • Are you starting in the ‘good’ bush rather than the most weedy area? The place to start is where the weeds have begun to make their way into bush that is generally pretty good (native canopy, mid-storey and groundcovers are still dominating). There might be a few random privet and hawthorn trees or some blackberry and their offspring. Try the cut and paste method. Chip out the blackberries rhizome. Best done before they fruit (again!).

  • Move out towards the more weedy areas. Are there native species present? Eucalypts overhead, acacia species and seedlings or even some native grasses and other natives in the groundcover? If Yes, then move into this area next.

  • Is it wall to wall weed cover? No native species present particularly looking for canopy or groundcover species. This area is not the place to try bush regeneration, unless you are very committed. This sort of area will have accumulated loads of weed seed in the soil over the years and will take a lot of persistence. Use of several methods will be necessary, such as small cool burn areas and brushmatting (laying ripe seed laden branches from local species) to help the native species have as great an advantage as possible. If no species regenerate, particularly looking for those Acacia dealbata (silver wattle), then it might be necessary to plant.

More resources and some inspiration:





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