Soil Safety Net

Safe to Fail Opportunities

Hollow Hollow, is Anyone Home?

Native Grasses, More Than Meets The Eye

Landcare from the Ground Up!

The Benefits of Keeping Healthy Farm Dams

Do you know your harvestable rights?

Did you know that the size and location of your property dictates how much water you are permitted to hold in dams?

In our region, rural landholders can capture and store 10% of the average rainfall run-off on their land without a licence. The total allowable capacity of your dams is called the Maximum Harvestable Right Dam Capacity (MHRDC).

To work out your MHRDC, use the calculator available on the WaterNSW website. The calculator will specify the total legal capacity of dams on your property and takes into account rainfall and variations in rainfall pattern and the size of your land. If you are thinking of constructing a new dam, you must factor in the volume of any existing harvestable rights dams on your property.

Approval and licences are required for the construction of dams which exceed your MHRDC.

Harvestable right dams can be constructed on first or second-order streams. These are minor watercourses that do not permanently flow, or carry flow from third or higher order streams.

First-order streams do not have any other watercourses flowing into them, they form the top of a catchment. Where two first-order streams meet, they become a second-order stream.

A second-order stream that has other first-order streams flowing into it remains a second-order stream. However, when two second-order streams meet they become a third-order stream.

To identify the stream order on your property you will need to refer to a legislated topographic map.

There are a number of exceptions when calculating your harvestable rights. Dams constructed for the purposes of flood mitigation, soil erosion prevention or control, or containment of drainage or effluent do not contribute towards the total capacity of dams allowed on your property under harvestable rights. Dams without a catchment, such as turkey nest dams used for storage of ground water or water pumped from a river, are also not included.

However, the construction of these dams may still require other approvals and licencing and the use of water held in these structures may be subject to conditions.

More information about water licencing and compliance and the harvestable rights calculator are available on the WaterNSW website: https://www.waternsw.com.au/customer-service/water-licensing.

We have also collated some useful resources on our website: http://watershedlandcare.com.au/resources/water-management.

 

Wild dog pests in their sights

Increased levels of damage to livestock have meant pest animal groups are targeting wild dogs as a priority across the region.

There are five pest groups within the Watershed Landcare area, these being the Hargraves Hill End Wild Dog Group, Ilford Running Stream Pest Group, Rylstone District Wild Dog Association, Munghorn Wild Dog Group and the newly formed Piambong Yarrabin Pest Group. These groups are volunteer run and strive to support landholders and residents within their areas to manage wild dogs and other pest animals.

The Groups, and the Mudgee LLS, are the first point of call if landholders have seen wild dogs or suspect they are suffering from livestock attack or losses.

“Communication and reporting are vital.” said Peter Sipek, Chairman of the Munghorn Wild Dog Group.

“We all need to know if our neighbours have seen dogs or they are having problems on their place. If we know where they are we can target our control much more effectively.” he continued.

Coordinated, winter 1080 baiting programs are currently being undertaken. “Again, we encourage all landholders to get involved,” said Peter “the greater the area we cover within a baiting program means fewer pockets where dogs can exist, and it takes longer for them to re-establish in the area. Wild dogs are a community problem and we need everybody to get on board.”

The Munghorn Wild Dog Group’s baiting program will be carried out on Thursday the 30 August and follows on from baiting programs recently carried out in the south and east of the region.

Remote cameras are used extensively across the region, providing a valuable tool pre and post baiting. If dogs continue to be seen on these cameras, or mauled livestock are reported after a landholder has been involved in a baiting program, then sending a trapper to the area can also be considered.

Wild dog detected on a remote camera in the upper Bylong area.

Contact details for the 5 pest groups are:

Hargraves Hill End Wild Dog Group: 0458 733 308

Ilford Running Stream Pest Group: 0427 025 802

Rylstone District Wild Dog Association: 6379 6256

Munghorn Wild Dog Group: 0417 322 436

Piambong Yarrabin Pest Group: 0438 686 369

Watershed Landcare Pest Animal Group Coordinator Beth Greenfield can be contacted for more information on 0438 090 525 or by email beth.greenfield@watershedlandcare.com.au.

Is it still a weed at $70/kg

The latest trend in top Sydney restaurants is weeds. Farmers friends, purslane, salsify, wild asparagus and nettle are all on the menu and chefs are willing to pay top dollar.

One man is on a mission to connect farmers, landholders and budding foragers from the Central Tablelands to the catering and restaurant industry of Sydney.

After many years working as a foraging educator Diego Bonetto has established Wildfood Store, a marketplace for edible wild food. The platform and registered company will offer farmers and people in regional NSW the opportunity to subsidise their income by harvesting desirable edible wild plants.

“There is an unrelenting request form the city’s fine dining industry for well presented, clean, atypical edible species.” said Diego.

For example young, good quality tips of farmers friends can fetch $7-8 for a 100 g punnet.

“Farmers have edible weeds growing all over so it is just a matter to train people how to harvest and package and get the produce to the city.” he continued.

Diego has secured some seed funding from the NSW Government via an initiative in collaboration with the Kandos School Of Cultural Adaptation.

The concept is simple. Chefs in the city want clean, well-presented and fresh wild edibles. Diego will train farmers on how to harvest and package the produce and via a distribution company in the city deliver them to the top restaurants in Sydney. The farmers get paid for their efforts and Diego will bring their stories to the city’s tables.

Diego will be running a Foragers Training Workshop in Kandos on Saturday, 11 August from 10am-12:30 pm.

Diego Bonneto will provide training on how to harvest and package desirable wild plants and get the produce to the city.

Diego Bonetto is an Italian artist, father, forager, speaker, keen naturalist and award winning cultural worker based in Sydney. Diego works with chefs, scientists, architects, academics, herbalists, brewers, soap makers, producers, educators and land owners, providing programs, workshops, tours, community engagement strategies and exhibitions. You can read more about Diego on his website: http://www.diegobonetto.com.

Attendance to the workshop is $10, visit https://www.diegobonetto.com/shop/mid-western-foragers-training-aug11 to book your spot.

Can’t make the workshop? Diego will also be available to conduct consultation visits to local properties to identify wild food produce potential during the week of August 6 to 10. Contact Diego on 0411 293 178 or info@diegobonetto.com for more information.

Artful way to capture the right attention

As consumers become increasingly interested in where and how their food and fibre are produced, more and more farmers and producers are turning to direct marketing to sell their wares. But how do you tell your story in the right way to the right people?

Join us for a ‘Visual Storytelling – the art of capturing the right attention’ workshop on Sunday, 1 July and learn how you can use social media to convert your customers into a community.

Watershed Landcare have invited Sophie Hansen, founder and creator of Local is Lovely and My Open Kitchen and 2016 National Rural Woman of the Year, and Annie Herron, painter, sculptor and art teacher who has taught art to all ages for over 40 years and has been exhibiting for 30 years, to present the workshop.

Social media is a visual medium and so great photos are an important part of your storytelling. In this three-hour workshop we will run through how to compose, capture, caption and share images that tell your story in the most engaging way possible.

Creative Afternoon: 2016 National Rural Woman of the Year, Sophie Hansen, will present the Visual Storytelling workshop.

We will cover the basics of composing engaging images, how to shoot them on your smartphone (or camera if you prefer) and how to edit them so they really pop.

Then we’ll move on to the words – how to write and edit captions that tell a story, that engage and motivate your customers so they become community members and your biggest advocates.

This will be a lovely afternoon of creativity, strategy and figuring out how to tell your story in the right way to the right people.

The Visual Storytelling workshop will be held from 12 noon to 4pm on Sunday, 1 July at Augustine Function Centre, 50 George Campbell Drive, Mudgee. All welcome, the workshop is free to attend with lunch provided but please RSVP by Tuesday, 26 June as numbers are strictly limited.

For more information or to RSVP contact Watershed Landcare Coordinator, Claudia Wythes, on 0412 011 064 or email: claudia.wythes@watershedlandcare.com.au.

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