Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink

 

The Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network’s ‘Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink’ is a $300,000 project supported by the State Government’s “Our Catchments our Communities” (OCOC) initiative through the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA). This 3 year project seeks to improve catchment health and address the lack of landscape connectivity between two significant areas of remnant vegetation. Through revegetation and weeding and fencing of remnants, a biolink will be created across more than 20 private properties. This will benefit numerous threatened fauna in the area including Powerful owls and Swamp skinks.

For more information, contact Project Coordinator Chantal Kelly:  gb2as2@mplandcare.org.au

Aims of Project:

In 2017, the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network received $300,000 from DELWP’s ‘Our Catchments, Our Communities’ initiative for their 3.5 year Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink Project (GB2AS). This project aims to reconnect the two largest core patches of remnant vegetation remaining on the Mornington Peninsula, Greens Bush (Mornington Peninsula National Park) and Arthurs Seat State Park through revegetation and protection of remnant vegetation on private properties.

Achievements of Project:

Delivered by the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network and overseen by the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, GB2AS has made some remarkable achievements in the 2.5 years it has been operating. Thirty-five private properties have been involved in the project so far, many of these contiguous, with 24 signing formal landholder agreements.

Revegetation has been undertaken on thirteen properties, with local primary & secondary schools, tertiary institutions, Scouts and Girl Guides Australia and the wider community taking part in over 30 planting days. A total of 638 volunteers have contributed to the planting of 17,500 indigenous plants to date.

Weeding has also been undertaken across 41 hectares of remnant vegetation on sixteen private properties, to restore these valuable areas to better support native wildlife. Eligible landholders were also encouraged to apply for Melbourne Water Stream Frontage Grants to control weeds along three high priority reaches along Drum Drum Alloc Creek, Splitters and Main Creeks. Eleven properties applied for these grants, leading to 2 km of stream frontage protected and allowing GB2AS funds to be spent outside the riparian buffer. Weeding works have also been  complimented through the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s annual roadside weed program.

Another highlight of the project has been the installation of 10 nest boxes on properties with an absence of hollow bearing trees. Fox control has reduced predation pressure on many of the indigenous fauna in the area including antechinus and White Footed Dunnart.

A large focus of the project has been community engagement and several field days and workshops have been run with the intention of empowering landowners to best manage their land to support wildlife. We have also adopted a novel approach to monitoring the biolink through the use of drones to video planting areas before and after works. In addition, GB2AS has partnered with Birdlife Australia who has been conducting regular bird surveys.

The success of this project has been largely in part due to strong partnerships with key stakeholders, including the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Birdlife Australia, Chisholm Institure, Holmsglen TAFE, Advance College, Balcombe Grammar, Padua Secondary College, Flinders Christian Community College and Scouts Australia. In addition, the enthusiasm and generosity of community members keen to get involved and make a positive contribution to environmental values cannot be overstated.

The project is now approaching its final year of current funding. The project has sparked much interest with neighbouring landholders and our future focus is to secure funding for continued works on existing properties and to include additional private land. As the project continues to grow, we will achieve even greater connectivity in the landscape and provide viable linkages to better support indigenous flora and fauna.