Over the past 4 years, Landcare Tasmania has delivered four landscape-scale projects through the Tasmanian Government's Landcare Action Grants (LAG). Having recently wrapped up 4 rounds, these grants delivered a total of $335,000 in funding to 50 grant recipients working on 63 project sites across Tasmania.
Image: An aerial photo of Forico's LAG project
A huge variety of participants were involved, including existing Landcare members, landholders, community groups, schools, industry partners and more. These projects received funding from the state government and additional donors such as the JM Roberts Charitable Trust and community donors.
The three main aims of the program were to improve landscape and riverine health, stability and resilience, support enhanced land management practices to reduce erosion and sedimentation, and assist the community to holistically manage natural and productive land and waterways across the landscape. These goals aligned with community interest, and therefore produced successful on-ground outcomes with long-term benefits, building capacity within the community and adding value.
LAG funding was spread over 4 rounds, each targeting a catchment-scale project. These were the Meander Valley Production Zone (round 2), the Coal River Valley (round 3), South East Tasmania (round 4), and a general round (round 1). 94% of funding in rounds 2-4 involved revegetation or assisted regeneration activities on farms and private properties.
Images: Shelterbelt preparation and planting in the Meander Valley
Shelterbelts were a large focus of these projects. Through rounds 2-4, 22 native shelterbelts (or just over 2 hectares) were planted across the state. Nathan Daly from Daly Potato Co. said that “We’re hoping to see the on-farm benefits of the native shelterbelt within the next five years." Shelter belts help to provide shade and wind protection for livestock, as well as mitigating erosion. "It has been great to work with Landcare Tas and we hope to keep working with them in the future” said Mr Daly.
One of the greatest benefits of these catchment scale projects has been connecting neighbours for greater outcomes and resource efficiency. Two farms in the Meander Valley share a large remnant patch of Eucalyptus amygdalina inland forest and woodland on threatened vegetation communities, and exposed paddocks that would benefit from native shelterbelts. By connecting these neighbours, we were able to work together to achieve greater results for the environment- beneficial for all participants and better results from working together and pooling resources.
The projects also saw great success for natural regeneration. The simple act of exclusion can save lots of the resources that are needed for active plantings. On a farm in Montana, two native riparian areas located within non-native agricultural grasslands were fenced off for natural regeneration. A stock trough was installed to create an off-stream watering point to divert cattle from the riparian zone, allowing biodiversity to thrive naturally.
Image: Sustainable Farms Field Day with a viticulture focus
In Rounds 3 and 4, Landcare Tasmania worked with the viticulture industry, namely the Mapleton Vineyard, Tolpuddle Vinyard, and Stargazer Vineyard to aid landowners in building sustainability and resilience on their properties. Carlos Souris from Tolpuddle Vineyard said “Landcare [Tasmania] very kindly assisted us with identifying and supplying Australian native plants for the refurbishment of our creek area. It was fantastic, very successful. A vast number of the 1,000 plants survived really well.”
Image: Sustainable Agriculture Field Day in the Coal River Valley
To support the four catchment-scale projects, Landcare Tasmania ran a variety of member and community workshops on topics such as farm sustainability, integrated pest management, water monitoring, feral cat management, shelterbelt and revegetation, and more. Jo from Spring Farm said that “Receiving grant money is a gift...the workshops are extraordinarily helpful... It's great to see what other people [in the community] are doing and learn from them."
In the Coal River Valley, a group of neighbouring farmers in the Tea Tree Landcare Group had a mutual interest in creating a more resilient landscape. Though their properties had different purposes, they shared mutual goals: building soil nutrients, reducing impacts from strong winds, creating sun traps, and forming barriers to prevent spray drift from neighbouring farms. Through cooperation and knowledge sharing, these neighbours were able to work together to generate benefits beyond their own property boundaries.
These projects introduced new people to Landcare, empowering them to act on local issues within their catchment. Through connecting landcarers across the state, a resilient community, which is equipped with the knowledge to succeed, is emerging.
Landcare Tasmania currently have two more Landcare Action Grant project rounds underway, The Northern Slopes Bioregion (round 5) and the Huon and Channel (round 6).
Thanks to the Tasmanian Government for funding the Landcare Action Grants, to the JM Roberts Charitble Trust, and community donors for making these projects possible.