Patches & Paths
– OPEN FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST –
– OPEN FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST –
Box Gum Grassy Woodland is the shortened name given to the endangered ecological community ‘White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland’. This community is characterised by a sparse shrub layer, a diverse mix of native grasses and herbs, and is dominated by the eucalypts White Box, Yellow Box and/or Blakely’s Red Gum.
Today less than 4% of Box Gum Grassy Woodland remains, much of which is highly fragmented and in poor ecological condition. The productive and fertile clay loam soils which support these ecosystems are the reason, because when Europeans settled an area for agricultural purposes they would have first chosen the most productive parts of the landscape.
Prior to European settlement Box Gum Grassy Woodlands were widespread along the western slopes and tablelands of The Great Dividing Range, occurring from Southern Queensland through to Central Victoria. Despite this wide ranging distribution, Box Gum Grassy Woodlands are rather specific in the geographic and environmental factors governing their distribution.
Soil fertility is the most important environmental factor governing the localised distribution of Box Gum Grassy Woodlands. They are closely associated with fertile clay loam soils of moderate depth on flat to undulating terrain, along the lower slopes of the Tablelands and Western Slopes in New South Wales. Within the Watershed Landcare region they occur mainly in areas with a 550 mm to 800 mm annual rainfall and an elevation below about 700 m above sea level.
On steeper, less arable and rockier ground, Dry Sclerophyll Forest replaces Box Gum Grassy Woodland. Dry Sclerophyll Forest may be dominated by the same tree species but the understorey is predominately shrubby, rather than a grassy one.
Many large hollow bearing trees of the Box Gum Grassy Woodlands are isolated and under stress, or reaching the end of their life span. Natural recruitment is rare due to much of the Box Gum Grassy Woodlands being converted to crops and pastures. Large hollow bearing trees provide habitat for a myriad of insects, birds, reptiles and mammals, shade for livestock, and give the landscape its quintessential Australianness. These trees cannot be replaced in the short to medium term and need to be protected from the added nutrients of livestock camps and the cultivation of soil close to their root system.
The Patches and Paths Project will enhance the quality and extent of White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Box Woodland and Derived Grassland in the Watershed Landcare region by focusing on:
Watershed Landcare is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from landholders in our region for funding to conduct on-ground works to increase the extent and quality of remnant Box Gum Grassy Woodland on the land they manage. Eligible activities include:
fencing around mature, isolated paddock trees and remnant native vegetation clusters
fencing to enable changed grazing management intended to allow natural regeneration of woodland vegetation spp.
in-fill planting, especially to increase diversity of understory spp.
revegetation activities to improve landscape connectivity
any other activities that protect or enhance White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Box Woodland and Derived Grassland, especially novel and innovative approaches
Total funding of $7,000 is available each year from 2019-2022. Project funding can be utilised to contribute to materials and/or labour with applicants required to provide a 30% in-kind contribution (labour or materials) to the project.
Applications for staged projects will be supported. For example you can apply for a 3 year project to conduct fencing in year 1, site preparation in year 2 and in-fill planting in year 3.
Species protected must form part of a White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Box Woodland endangered ecological community (contact us if you’re not sure – we’re happy to help!).
Areas for the protection of single remnant trees are to be a minimum of 30 m x 30 m.
Fencing must be constructed with new materials and managed in a stock-proof condition for the duration of contract.
Conventional fencing must be a minimum of 6 lines, electric fencing a minimum of 3 lines. You should avoid using barbed wire where possible and replace it with plain wire for the top two and lowest strands (this is to ensure safe passage for native wildlife).
Fencing is to be outside the drip line of the existing trees to prevent damage to the root system of the tree and to limit damage to fences from falling limbs
Grazing is to be excluded for a minimum of 4 years, total exclusion is encouraged.
Other/ additional requirements
Additional tree tubestock is not required to be planted where it is considered large remnant trees will naturally regenerate once grazing and stock camp pressure is removed, however enhancement with shrubs and groundcover is encouraged where possible.
Bush rock, dead standing and fallen timber are required to be retained as they are important habitat features. Movement of fallen timber within the site is permitted if it presents a hazard but it should not be destroyed.
Pest animals and exotic plants on the project site must be controlled for the duration of the agreement.
Works funded under this project will result in the native vegetation within the project area being classified as ‘Category 2 – Sensitive regulated’ under the Local Land Services Regulation 2014. Clearing of native vegetation will be restricted within the project area.
Project sites must be made available for scientific monitoring activities if required.
All relevant permits and approvals for works that trigger State Government legislation must be obtained from or approved by appropriate government agencies.
You must be aware of and comply with all legal responsibilities under legislation relevant to the project. This includes the application and use of chemicals and poisons for exotic plant and pest animal control.
EOIs will be assessed by a selection panel against the following criteria:
Species protected must form part of a White Box, Yellow Box, Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Box Woodland or Derived Grassland endangered ecological community. Vegetation patches with high conservation value will be prioritised.
Sites that require minimal intervention (conservation of high value vegetation).
Connectivity to other remnant vegetation (especially remnant vegetation under active management).
Value of site from an ecological, biodiversity and landscape function perspective.
Eligibility for funding
Current financial member of Watershed Landcare.
You must own the land, or have written permission from the owner of the land, on which the project is to be conducted.
Provide 30% in-kind contribution to the project. This can include materials or labour.
Complete work and provide final report and photographs to Watershed Landcare by the specified project completion date.
Participating landholders will enter into a project management agreement with Watershed Landcare. The agreement will include a schedule of activities which details agreed responsibilities and timeframes. Wateshed Landcare will withhold a final (30%) installment for on-ground works until evidence of completion is sighted, ie. report from landholder including photographs of completed works.
How to apply
Submit a completed Patches & Paths project Expression of Interest (EOI) form together with 4 photos of the proposed project site to Watershed Landcare.
If your application is successful you will be required to sign a Project Management Agreement before funding is distributed and work can commence.
If you require any further information, or have any questions, contact Agness Knapik on 0435 055 493 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Watershed Landcare ‘Patches & Paths’ Project is supported by Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government and is a component of the Driving Corridor Connectivity Project funded through NLP2: