The Conservation Chronicles

Conservation Chronicles

– Melanie Tyas, Landcare NSW State Community of Practice Manager

We are off to a flying start with our Lunch and Learn series with two sessions now under our belts. During session two we heard from Steven Fleischmann Local Landcare Coordinator with Lithgow Oberon Landcare Association. Steven is hosted at Lithgow Council where he’s been working to protect critically endangered swamps by treating stormwater using natural solutions at the source.

His projects see stormwater slowed by installing large rocks where the pipes discharge. This stops scouring and creates habitat for native creatures such as frogs and crayfish. It also ensures that sediment and other urban byproducts, such as dog poo are captured before they have a chance to hit the wetlands.

As well as creating habitat, these innovative solutions are far cheaper than typical engineering options such as GPTs. Despite being Steve’s initiative, he’s quick to point out that the project is a group effort – with council, volunteers, Landcarers and local community all playing a part.

However there’s still some work to be done as these sediment ponds require maintenance and whilst it’s minimal, Steve’s eager to find a solution to deal with the sludge that will need to be dug out. Like most of our projects, it’s a work in progress.

Stay tuned for session three, where we will learn to prepare media releases for newspaper and radio with new Broken Hill Local Landcare Coordinator and former journalist, Melanie Gates. Melanie attended the last session and arrived a tad early.

It didn’t take long to unearth her talents and rope her in to presenting at the next session. Thanks Mel and her host Simon for being so accommodating. With Mel’s expertise, we’re poised to unleash our creative flair as we captivate the media with our newfound writing prowess. Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter in our journey.

Stormwater drainage works

Banjo Frog

The Conservation Chronicles

Lunch and Learn is on its way…

– Melanie Tyas, Landcare NSW Regional Community of Practice Coordinator

Now that the Landcare Enabling Program (LEP) has been announced, we are leaping into the Lunch and Learn Series. These lunch sessions are open to our members, LEP participants and relevant stakeholders.

Our aim is to create an environment where we come together and learn from each other. There is so much untapped talent in the Landcare ranks and this is a great opportunity to shine a light on the amazing work that is happening on the ground, the partnerships that have been forged and the tools that are available that help us be more effective, efficient and connected.

Late last year we looked at the case studies on NSW Landcare Gateway website and chose a few that may resonate across the board. Coordinators were then contacted to gauge interest on whether they would participate in the program and as a result we are in the process of determining dates. We will spread the sessions across the week to ensure that everyone has a chance to get involved. They will also be recorded and uploaded to Gateway for those who can’t make it.

Here’s a sneak preview of what will be on offer:

Title: Conservation Chronicles: NSW Landcare Success Stories (2019-2023)

“Collaborative Council Engagements”

  • Presenter: Henrietta Mooney (RLC Hunter Regional Landcare)
  • Details on how 9 regional councils united to discuss Landcare and foster collaboration.
  • Sponsorship and support from HRLCN.

“Soil Health Benchmarking with Green Triangle Farmers”

  • Presenter: Shelly McDouall (LLC Northern Slopes Landcare Association)
  • Insights from a regeneration farm project involving eight farms in the Northern Slopes.
  • Integration of grazing components for holistic soil health.

“Volunteer Engagement Post COVID”

  • Presenter: Ninna Douglas (LLC Tamworth Regional Landcare Association)
  • Strategies employed by North West Landcarers for volunteer engagement post-pandemic.
  • Transitioning from physical meetings to virtual platforms and its impact on membership.

“Natural Solutions Stormwater Project”

  • Presenter: Steven Fleischmann (LLC Lithgow Oberon Landcare Association)
  • Challenges and successes of a multi-year stormwater project in collaboration with LOLA, CT LLS, Lithgow City Council, and Blue Mountains City Council.

“River Health Festival”

  • Presenter: Emma Stone (LLC Border Ranges – Richmond Valley Landcare)
  • Responding to flood-induced setbacks with the Upper Richmond River Festival.
  • Overview of events and workshops to boost community morale.

“Rural Women’s Gathering and Farmers’ Mental Health”

  • Presenter: Christine Davis (LLC Glenrac)
  • A retrospective on the Rural Women’s Gatherings and their impact on regional women empowerment.
  • Collaboration efforts to support farmers’ mental health.

“Saving a Scar Tree”

  • Presenter: Terry Moody (LLC Upper Clarence Combined Landcare)
  • Narration of efforts to rescue and repurpose an Aboriginal Scar Tree following a fire incident.

“Seed Saving for Rainforest Rehabilitation”

  • Presenter: Mel Craig (LLC Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare)
  • Lessons from seed-saving initiatives for rainforest rehabilitation, including collaboration with transportation projects.

“Gumbaynggirr Koala Project”

  • Presenter: Debbie Repschlager and Michael Kennedy (LLC Clarence Landcare Inc and Aboriginal Engagement Officer, North Coast Regional Landcare)
  • Engaging local primary schools in the Gumbaynggirr Dunggirr project, emphasizing junior Koala Rangers’ role.

“Mycology May Art Exhibition”

  • Presenter: Trudi Refshauge (LLC Midlachlan Landcare)
  • Insights into the Mycology May art exhibition, and its intersection with drug and rehab programs, as well as local wine cellars.

“Blake Botanic Reserve Refurbishment”

  • Presenter: Janet Manzin (LLC Ricegrowers Association)
  • Student-led restoration efforts and the installation of seating and pathways at the Blake Botanic Reserve.

“Caring for Koalas in Warialda”

  • Presenter: Shelley McDouall (LLC Northern Slopes Landcare)
  • The story of John Hodge’s initiative to safeguard koalas by establishing water points and a wildlife reserve in Warialda.

“Carp in the Murray”

  • Presenter: Adam Kerezsy (LLC Lake Cargelligo)
  • The great flood of 2022 changed the ecology of the Basin’s rivers, but not it a good way.

“Carp and the Oyster Industry”

  • Presenter: Laura Stoltenberg (Oceanwatch)
  • Oyster growers, Shoalhaven Council, Shoalhaven Water, some cattle growers, South East LLS, OceanWatch, NSW DPI, and others come together at 6 monthly intervals to discuss topics impacting local water quality.

The program is now underway with the first session being held in late March where we introduced Covram:

Covram – A tool to improve native vegetation management

Determining the condition of native vegetation at a site is vital to ensuring that the most appropriate and sustainable land management decisions are made, however current approaches can be time consuming and expensive, and are not broadly comparable.

Covram offers a simple, standardised approach which empowers farmers and land managers to self-assess sites – making it ideal for Landcare activities. The methodology has been successfully applied to 100s of diverse sites including roadsides, reserves and private land and is informed by over 30 years of experience in field assessment and land management advice.

Covram is made up of two parts:

1. Covram mobile app – Developed for field use by land managers – Search ‘Covram’ on the Google Play or Apple App Store

2. Web app to review and analyse data collected – Available via

Covram is freely available at present and we welcome people to try it out and provide feedback. We will be presenting an online lunch and learn session from 12 -1pm on 26th March, to provide an introduction and answer any questions.

For more information on the app email or


To be added to the mailing list for this online series, please email Mel at


March 2024