Killabakh & Lower Cedar Party Landcare
Landcare Stall at Day In The Country 2013
We are an eclectic group of people, mixing traditional and alternative farmers with environmentalists. The common ground is a passion for the land and maintaining biodiversity and learning about our locale; botanically, geologically, historically. There are many threads of interest that intertwine and make for lively conversation.
There are five meetings per year: February, April, June, August and October. 7pm at the Hall. Please feel free to join us and contribute to the ongoing discussions.
The Landcare movement was first founded in Australia in 1988. It reached our small community in November 1997 when a group of 17 like-minded community members held the first meeting in our hall. Killabakh Landcare Inc. was formally incorporated in March 1998. In August 2002 the group became known as Killabakh & Lower Cedar Party Landcare Inc. to accommodate the extended area and consolidate membership.
At the initial formation of the group a walk of the full length of the Killabakh Creek - from the mountain foothills to Shorts Road - was organised so that problem areas could be identified and a plan of action developed. Five areas of most need were found on that first creek walk. Government funding was sought and approved to allow the group and landholders to tackle the problems. These mostly related to loss of soil from the creek banks.
We are part of the Landcare Australia's Hunter region with close ties to Manning Landcare. They have an office in Wingham in the CWA building on Isabella St open Mondays and Wednesdays. If you would like to contact Lyn Booth from Manning Landcare please feel free to use our Contact Page.
For further information on Killabakh & Lower Cedar Party Landcare or if you would like to be part of our group, you are most welcome to come along to our bi-monthly meetings at Killabakh Hall – on the second Tuesday of every second month at 7pm.
Alternatively, you can always find us under the big green Landcare marquee at Killabakh’s annual ‘Day in the Country’ – held on the first Saturday in September.
Before and after weir construction at Gibsons' farm.
A lot of successful work has been achieved over the years stabilising creek banks through different properties. Fencing and revegetation along creeks, including rehabilitation of a section of Morton’s Creek, have been important projects. Weed eradication – privet, lantana, camphor laurels and also on one occasion Willow Tree removal – is ongoing.
In more recent years the Landcare group has focussed on the historically valuable site of Alfred Rd Reserve. During the 50s and early 60s the Reserve was used as a rest point for cattle being driven to markets in Wingham. With the shift to vehicular transportation, the Reserve was no longer used and became overgrown and neglected. See below for the Official Opening of the Reserve.
Wind break planting
Tree planting Killabakh Creek Rd
K&LCP Landcare endeavours to act as a source of accurate information on local environmental concerns. To this end we have found field days on topical issues to be very important. Weed Identification, Off Creek Watering, Electric Fencing, Trees on Farms, Tunnel Erosion, Stream Bank Health, Identifying Native Trees, Aerator and Pasture Establishment are subjects that have been explored. Below are photos depicting the Water Testing Field Day, Portable Chook Runs and our Display Table of information and photographs. In 2014 the group will be looking at Reed Beds as they pertain to sustainable housing, Conservation Agreements and Nesting Wetland Birds.
An interesting activity was working with the Taree Rotary club and Manning Landcare in a joint effort which enabled our group to source 1500 dung beetles from Canberra and release them on five properties in Killabakh. These beetles are vital in moving nutrients in manure into the ground and also reducing summer fly numbers.
Alfred Rd Reserve
The Killabakh & Lower Cedar Party Landcare group have been working on the Alfred Rd Crown Reserve (gazetted 29th September 1933) for nearly 6 years, weeding and replanting indigenous species. Clearing out copious amounts of rubbish has been a major chore. Even at the working bee prior to the official opening of the Reserve (October 2013), a large pile of rusting corrugated iron was found near the creek. Apparently it was ‘archaeology’ from the old homestead that was once nearby. Each time the small, hardworking group gathers there they find weeds, the pervasive privet and tradescantia, but less each time. Seedlings that have come up by themselves are discovered with delight and pride.
This Reserve is a tiny remnant of the vast wet sclerophyll and rainforest areas which once covered the Killabakh Valley. It is particularly important as, while there are still numerous pockets of valuable rainforest still to be found in NSW, most of them require a long walk in through difficult country. Here are beautiful examples of ‘old growth’ trees right next to the road and accessible for anyone who wishes to come and admire them.
Terry Evans, who used to work for the Dept of Natural Resources, has been an invaluable font of knowledge to the Landcare group. He has identified and named the plant species at Alfred Rd and recommended what types are appropriate to replant. He helped pick out particularly fine tree specimens that have since been labelled and designate the walk through the reserve. Their names are also recorded on the new sign and a detailed description of each is to be found in the high quality, locally produced brochures. Brochures are available from the Information Box attached to the picnic table at the Hall.