Landcare grants benefit Bridgetown

Biodiversity in the Bridgetown area and the capacity of Bridgetown-Greenbushes Community Landcare has increased with funding from the South West Catchments Council’s (SWCC) Strategic Groundworks Program.

The people who have carried out biodiversity plantings with the funding speak very highly of the support provided by Cheryl Hamence, Landcare Officer, Bridgetown-Greenbushes Community Landcare.

Neil and Leeanne Chapman, who have revegetated and fenced a section of their land that incorporates a dam and connects to bushland said Cheryl had been awesome.

“She provided us with lots of technical information and support,” they said.  “We wouldn’t have done the project without the grant. We can do manual work, but the project was beyond our skills and budget.”

The Land for Wildlife property has extensive bushland and the Chapmans felt it was important to include the dam as a water supply for wildlife so have revegetated and fenced it with the funding they have received.

Another grant recipient, Sarah Ekin, who has also done extensive revegetation on her property partly to deal with tunnel erosion said that she learnt a lot through implementing the project.

“I couldn’t have done it without technical support,” she said. “It was a lot more work than I thought, but I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved, particularly as I was pregnant and then had a child whilst doing the weed control and revegetation.”

Farmer Hugh Wheatley, who undertook revegetation of local species in 2016 and 2017 also appreciated the funding.

“The technical advice really helped,” he said. “I’ve tried before myself and failed,” he says and really likes the change in how the farm looks and feels with the revegetated areas now thriving.

Mr Wheatley provided the labour for the project with funding going towards fencing materials and seedlings. The Green Army also contributed by putting in place tree guards the 2016 plantings.

The Strategic Groundworks Program has provided funding over three years to 13 community Landcare groups within the South West Catchments Council Region who directly facilitate and engage the community in Landcare and sustainable agricultural activities on private and public land.

The funds go towards on-ground works to protect biodiversity, sites of ecological value and to support the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. In addition, the funds assist to build capacity within the Landcare groups to engage the community and increase knowledge and skills.

The program is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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