Paddock trees linking our landscape

The Central Tablelands region is one of the most highly cleared areas of woodland in NSW. Watershed Landcare have been running a project aiming to enhance areas of highly cleared ecosystems by improving linkages between remnant native vegetation.

The Paddock Trees project, supported by Central Tablelands Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government, provided financial assistance to landholders to increase the extent of paddock trees and clusters on the land they manage. Individual landholders were eligible to apply for up to $2,750 in funding for materials or labour to conduct on-ground works that improve vegetation extent and quality.

Six landholders from Lue, Rylstone, Gulgong, Stoney Creek and Mudgee participated in the project, conducting on-ground works to protect existing remnant vegetation and establish new corner, cluster and single paddock tree plantings.

Participating landholders worked with Watershed Landcare’s botanist to select suitable, endemic species to meet their desired project outcomes. At one project site, the planting was designed specifically to aid with the remediation of a heavily eroded, saline area.

As part of the project 8 ha were re-vegetated with over 1000 trees. When mature, these plantings will not only provide connectivity to existing remnant vegetation and act as wildlife corridors but will also provide other valuable ecosystem services such as habitat for pollinators as well as birds and bats beneficial for pest control and maintain and improve soil structure and fertility.

A Paddock Trees and Farm Vegetation Management workshop was also held in April as part of the project. Watershed Landcare invited Dhyan Blore, Principal Consultant at Native Biota Rural Ecology, to share her extensive knowledge in rural vegetation management and the establishment and care of native plants.

The workshop focused on providing landholders with knowledge and practical information to enable them to establish and mange their own native vegetation plantings, covering topics such as species selection for various sites and purposes, tree planting techniques, short term follow up and later management, including thinning and grazing.

Want to find out more about our projects and what we do? Visit our website,, or contact one of our Coordinators, Claudia Wythes on 0412 011 064 or Agness Knapik on 0435 055 493 or email:

This project is supported by Watershed Landcare and Central Tablelands LLS through funding from the Australian Government and is a part of the NSW Government’s Local Landcare Coordinators Initiative, supported through the partnership of Local Land Services and Landcare NSW.

What species live in your backyard?

Did you know you can explore the plant, reptile, bird and mammal species, not only on your patch but all over Australia, with just the click of a button?

The Atlas of Living Australia is a national biodiversity database founded on the principle of data sharing. The collaborative, national project provides free, online access to millions of flora and fauna occurrence records.

To find out what’s living in your area simply visit the Atlas of Living Australia website at, click on ‘explore by location’ and type in your postcode or location.

By aggregating biodiversity data from multiple sources, the Atlas provides the most comprehensive and accessible data set on Australia’s biodiversity ever produced. The database supports research, environmental monitoring, conservation planning, education, and citizen science projects and provides tools for users to search and analyse data.

How much do you know about the other creatures which share our backyard? For instance, did you know that 9 kola, 13 platypus, 1 feathertail glider, and over 2000 swamp wallaby sightings have been recorded within a 10 km radius of the Mudgee township?

Want to contribute? The Atlas of Living Australia relies on collaboration, users capturing and freely sharing data, and you can also get involved. If you find something interesting while you’re out and about you can submit data of your sightings to the Atlas.

Or you can get involved in one of hundreds of citizen science projects currently running all over the country and contribute to research which will help us learn more about our unique biodiversity.

New monitoring toxic algae

Are you interested in monitoring algal blooms in your dams, waterways or stock water supply?

Identifying potentially toxic blue-green algae can be difficult, as they are often confused with other prolifically growing macrophytes (water plants). But a new Algal Resource Kit and phone app make it possible for individuals to identify potentially toxic algal blooms that may occur in local creeks, rivers, farm dams and other water bodies, without the need for expensive laboratory tests.

The kit, developed by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) through the Environmental Trust and in collaboration with government, aims to fill the gap between professional water quality personnel and the community by providing a rapid self-assessment tool.

The phone app called AlageScumID (reached by going to app store on your phone) provides step-by-step instructions to help you distinguish between toxic algae and other water plants commonly found in our waterways.

Watershed Landcare have invited Associate Professor Simon Mitrovic from UTS to run a workshop about algal blooms and to provide training in sampling, detection, and confirmation of blooms using the Algal Resource Kit.

Whether you’re a landholder wanting to keep an eye on livestock water supplies or a professional involved in the monitoring of waterways, we invite you to come along.

Professor Mitrovic’s presentation will provide an introduction to algae – the good and the bad, causes of algal blooms, remediation activities and where to go for further information and help. There will also be a practical component to the workshop where participants will get hands-on experience in using the Algal Resource Kit and phone app.

The ‘Scum School’ Algae workshop will be held from 10am-1pm on Thursday 31 May at the Lecture Room, Australian Rural Education Centre (AREC). The workshop is free to attend with lunch provided.

All welcome but RSVP is essential for catering purposes. For more information or to book your spot please contact Agness Knapik, Watershed Landcare Coordinator, on 0435 055 493 or

This event is supported by Watershed Landcare and is a part of the NSW Government’s Local Landcare Coordinators Initiative, supported through the partnership of Local Land Services and Landcare NSW.

How do you pick a good seed?

 Did you know you can grow your own native plants without expensive, specialist equipment? But to ensure success it’s important to start with healthy, viable seed. So how do you pick a good seed from a dud?

To get the best quality seed, start with a healthy, natural population of parent plants. Collect seed locally if possible, environmental conditions should be considered, but collecting seed from a large and genetically diverse population is much more important. Avoid neighbouring plants as they are most probably related and instead collect seed from widely spaced healthy plants. Isolated plants should also be avoided as they may not be able to cross-pollinate so are likely to carry inbred, unhealthy seed.

Want to find out more? Come along to our seed collection and propagation workshop on Sunday 6 May and gain knowledge and skills to select for viable seed, ensure successful germination and give your seedlings the best start.

Seed Success: Start with healthy, viable seed.

The workshop will be run by local ecologist, David Allworth, and local botanist, Christine McRae, and will cover basic identification features of some commonly found local plant species; why collecting locally is best; safety, permission, timing, methods, storing collected material; equipment and processing of collected material; methods and materials for propagation and the best time to sow seed.

The hands-on workshop will take participants through the tools and techniques required to select viable seed and provide plenty of actual experience in seed sieving, preparing potting mix, sowing seed and handling seedlings. The emphasis of the workshop will be introducing people to a few tricks to ensuring a good germination, and doing so at low or no cost in terms of equipment; generally most the things required to germinate plants can be found in the domestic garbage bin or in the shed.

Participants will also gain an insight into local plant ecology and have access to seed and material propagated on the day.

The seed collection and propagation workshop will be held from 9am to 12 noon on Sunday 6 May at the Straw Bale Shed, AREC. The workshop is free to attend with morning tea and lunch provided.

All welcome but RSVP is essential for catering purposes. For more information or to book your spot please contact Agness Knapik, Watershed Landcare Coordinator, on 0435 055 493 or

This event is supported by Watershed Landcare through funding from Michael King and Landcare Australia.