The Dirty Hands - February 2023

A special edition with guest authors from CSIRO and SPRATS.  Find out about Landcare projects, upcoming events, and ways you can get involved with the growing Landcare movement. 


Community action in managing sea spurge throughout Tasmania / an article

Local community members are helping release a biocontrol agent to slow the spread of the highly invasive coastal weed - sea spurge.


Sea spurge has gradually spread along the southern coastline where it infests dunes and foredunes - outcompeting native vegetation, reducing available nesting areas for native shorebirds, and releasing a latex when damaged, which is a toxic irritant to humans and animals.

Fortunately, a highly specific biological control agent of sea spurge, a fungus called Venturia paralias, is able to infect the leaves of sea spurge and reduce plant performance.

To slow the introduction of sea spurge from Victoria and Tasmania to beaches in New South Wales, the NSW Government has co-invested with CSIRO in a project to release the fungus along the Victorian and Tasmanian coastlines.

As part of the program, CSIRO has called for community participation in the program, and have dispatched 124 biocontrol release kits to participants in Tasmania to release the biocontrol agent on sea spurge plants in the field.

Currently, the agent has been released across 62 sites in Tasmania, with participation from several community groups including private citizens, government agencies and members of volunteer groups.

Would you like to participate?

Community organisations involved in coastal weed management, and who have the necessary approvals from land owners and managers, are encouraged to contact Caroline Delaisse ([email protected]) or Gavin Hunter ([email protected]) to become registered as community participants in the project and receive release kits of the agent for field releases. 

Caroline Delaisse (CSIRO), Jon Marsden-Smedley (SPRATS), and Gavin Hunter (CSIRO) have written a comprehensive update on the program. Read more for the full article.


Carbon farming workshops

Graphic: Regen Ag Mutual 

What are carbon and environmental markets?

What are the opportunities and pitfalls of these markets?

On the 15th and 21st of March, Landcare Tasmania will be hosting events in the north-west on the pros and cons of carbon and environmental markets.

Each workshop will include:

  • a panel discussion on how these markets work
  • benefits and drawbacks 
  • first hand experience from farmers who have traded in environmental markets
  • carbon farming opportunities
  • practical tips for participating in these markets in a way that is meaningful to both your bottom line and the environment
  • Q&A session with the audience.
  • Walk and talk with farm managers 

FREE event - however registration is important.  Follow the links for more information on the event and to register.

15th March - Redbank Farm, 152 Broomhalls Rd, Sisters Creek, TAS 7325

21st March - West Pine Ag, 86A Main Rd, Penguin 7316


This project is part of our Northern Slopes Landscape Project. Funded by the State Government Landcare Action Grants.


Project Update: Education Program 2023

A student calls out to the group “Who is having fun?”. This is answered by a chorus of “Meeee!!!”

-Grade 3/4’s, Austins Ferry Primary. Waterbug and bird watching workshop

After a successful school Landcare program in 2022, we are currently taking EOIs for our exciting new 2023 school program, featuring citizen science, agriculture, and circular economy learning.

In 2022, we launched the School Citizen Science Program, which was born from the idea of putting wildlife cameras in schools to enable students to monitor their local patch.

From this initial concept, we developed the program in to something much broader – a program that gave students meaningful opportunities to explore their local environment through a range of hands-on activities.

Water bug monitoring, bird watching, nature journaling, habitat exploration, and wildlife monitoring with cameras were some of the activities enjoyed by students. 

We are looking forward to an exciting 2023 program!


"Landcare taught us - the students- effective ways to help muddy, murky creeks by not putting chemicals or rubbish into the water and planting vegetation around its edges! We certainly learnt a lot from our visit. Thank you, Landcare, especially Joy and Cynthia.”

-Amelia, grade 5/6 at Andrews Creek Primary. Waterbug and scat and track ID workshop



Landcare Tasmania's 2022 Education Program has been generously supported by the JM Roberts Charitable Trust and donations to the Tasmanian Landcare Fund. 


Gorse Biocontrol Update: Where are we at?

Image: Landcare Tasmania Project Manager Anna Minchin collecting gorse moth

In December 2022, NRM South and Landcare Tasmania partnered to release a biocontrol agent for Gorse in Kellevie and Gordon. 

The biocontrol agents being used are the gorse soft shoot moth, and a naturally occurring fungus.  While their exact effects are still being investigated, it's hoped that these agents will damage gorse in these areas.

We will be monitoring the impacts of the moth releases and conducting follow up treatment at the end of 2023.  An important aspect of this program is liaising with local landholders. We are hoping the biocontrol will provide a good complimentary control method for land managers that will cause significant dieback of this damaging invasive weed.



The biocontrol release is a part of NRM South's "Black or Brookers gum Forests on Farms Program", which is funded through the Australian Government's Regional Land Partnership program.


Dr Graeme Stevenson awarded OAM

Our Landcare legend Dr Graeme Stevenson has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal.

Graeme has been deservedly recognised for a lifetime of Landcare work with dung beetles, earthworms and soil (and Dr Spluttergrunt, too!)

"Among those awarded an Order of Australia Medal is someone who is often spotted digging in Tasmanian paddocks, wearing a hat decorated with dung beetles and breaking into song..."

You can listen to Graeme and wife Janice chat to the Tasmanian Country Hour in a delightful 4-minute interview here.

Bellerive Bluff Land and Coastcare Celebrate 21 years of fun

The Bellerive Bluff Land and Coastcare Group have totally transformed the Bellerive beach area over the last 21 years.  From weeding, to revegetation, to totally reconstructed paths and platforms, this group started with thirty concerned community members and are now celebrating 21 years of land and coastcare on the bluff. 

Read more or watch the celebration video, '21 Years on the Bluff.' 

Looking for something to do?

Join the office volunteer team!

We need helpers! We have six volunteer roles open in our nipaluna/Hobart office.

If you want to contribute your skills for a good cause in a fun, friendly, office environment, apply now by sending your CV and a bit about why you'd like to volunteer to [email protected] by Friday 3rd March.

The roles: 

  • Shop volunteer
  • Events Volunteer 
  • Instagram reels wizard 
  • Data entry volunteer
  • Calendar coordinator 
  • Phone call volunteer

You are welcome to apply for one or more roles.  Read More for the the full role descriptions. 

*Note: Office volunteers are required to have a working with vulnerable peoples card or willingness to acquire one upon starting


Be a citizen scientist - invasive black rats study

Ink UTAS is currently collating samples of the invasive black rats across northern Tasmania and looking to increase the sample size with your help. 

"People underestimate how precious these places are on the island of Tasmania and that there are already some silent invaders in some intact forests – the black rat (Rattus rattus).

Black rats are currently displacing the native small mammal community, with more than 90% of camera detections being black rats, and the rest being native small mammals.  Despite their global threat across the globe, not a lot of research has been done on their ecology in Tasmania."

Image: Ink with Native Swamp Rat

Join a group

Did you know our group membership has grown from 142 groups in 2016 to 307 groups in 2022? 

We are reaching a critical mass of people keen to step up and care for the water and land.

Most groups warmly welcome (and need!) new volunteers.  Why not join them if you're in their area!?

Check out the group directory and get in touch with a group near you. 


What's on? Upcoming Events

Inaugural Huon community catchment crawl 

Huon Waterwatch Groups are about to run the first community catchment crawl!

The event will include collecting water quality data from 40 sites across the Huon over four days from Friday February 24th to Monday February 27th.

This project will target a different area of the Huon on each day with 2-3 collection teams gathering data and samples from creeks, rivulets and rivers each morning and returning these to a centralised point for further analysis by lunchtime.

Image: the four areas of collection

This project is supported by a Huon Valley Council Natural Resource Management Grant and Landcare Tasmania.


Field Day - Natural Sequence Farming at Ripple Farm

Work with your landscape to boost productivity

Natural Sequence Farming (NSF) is a landscape management method that  rehabilitates, regenerates and rehydrates landscapes for increased productivity. Through the Natural Sequence Farming approach you will "read" the landscape in whole new ways, increasing your understanding of how the landscape functions by observing the patterns and processes in whole new ways. 

This Field Day will be delivered by Stuart Andrews, son of Peter Andrews the creator of NSF, and is hosted by Daniel Lore and Rachael Treasure at Ripple Fram near Richmond. 


Landcare Tas at the BIG Weekend

We would like to invite you to come and visit our stall at Sustainable Living Tasmania's BIG Weekend of Sustainable Living Ideas

We will be hosting two exciting demonstrations:

  • A Biochar Demonstration with Bill Harvey (Saturday 25th Mar)
  • A Walk n Talk with Landcare Tasmania and the local Landcare group along the Bridgewater Foreshore. This special patch is home to beautiful native plants, water birds and mammals such as bandicoots (Sunday 26th Mar)

We have a small number of FREE LOCAL PLANTS grown by the Understorey Network to give away, so don't forget to come pick one up while you're there!


Tasmanian Landcare Fund

As a small not-for-profit we rely on donations to our Tasmanian Landcare Fund to support many of our functions.

Support the Landcare movement today with a once off or regular donation.

Every little bit counts. 



Thanks for reading

The Landcare Tasmania Team

Peter Stronach – CEO
Priscilla Richards – Member Services Manager
Rachel Larner – Finance and Administration Manager
Kat Traill - Events Coordinator 
Jenn Gason – Communications Officer
Evie Drinnan – Project Officer
Joy Pfleger – Project Officer
Cynthia Schaap – Project Officer
Claire Byrne - Executive Assistant 
Lily Fraser - Project Officer