Collecting and identifying our local native seeds

Last week 9 of us gathered at Keith's property, Billa Burra Burra, to collect seed from several of his trees for propogating in our nurseries. We collected seed capsules as well as samples of bark, leaves, buds. Elizabeth and Mark made notes about the location (with GPS coordinates), what was growing nearby including other trees of the same species, and the health and other features of the tree. Maren took photos of the tree and surrounding landscape, the bark and leaves and the seed capsules. After the collection, we had dinner before heading home. We collected the seeds in boxes and bags, and stored the notes with them.


Next morning, Maren returned to spread the seeds out on sheets to dry in Keith's garage.

Later Maren sorted out the photos and the samples, which we hope will help us learn about identifying trees in future.

We're trying several methods of preserving the samples: storing them in a muslin bag (as they turn mouldy if stored in plastic), laminating some leaves (we can't laminate anything thicker than 0.4 mm though) and using clear adhesive plastic (book covering plastic) to attach some twigs, leaves and the smaller capsules and buds to cardboard.

One lesson learned from this exercise is that the note-takers should note the start and end time of collecting from each tree, and/or the photographer should turn on GPS if available on the camera, to help match the photos to the samples later.

The photos will be uploaded to Google Drive along with details of the plants (probably in a spreadsheet). We decided on a naming convention for the files, which is species name, date of collection, property code and original photo number - for example, Brachychiton_populneus3Feb2019BBB0043 (BBB is the property code for Billa Burra Burra). We considered using tags but although tags are a great way to organise photos for a collection, the programs and apps that use them don't always talk to each other.



John Betts Award won by Elizabeth Goodfellow from Bowning-Bookham Landcare

Elizabeth Goodfellow is the 2018-19 winner of the Yass Area Network John Betts Award. The John Betts Award which was established in 2007 in memory of local Landcare legend John Betts and recognises outstanding service to Landcare. Elizabeth is the first member from Bowning-Bookham Landcare to win this award.

Together, Elizabeth and her husband Mark were among the founding members of the Bowning-Bookham Districts Landcare Group when it was first formed in 2013. Elizabeth has helped to organise many of the Group’s guest speakers, visits, workshops and field days over the years.  More recently, Elizabeth helped the Group to win a grant of over $99 000 from the NSW Government Environment Trust for a three year Burrinjuck to Bango Habitat Hops project which aims to establish a network of paddock trees and tree lanes on farms to provide bird and wildlife habitats, as well as soil and agriculture productivity.

Elizabeth is now managing the Habitat Hops Project including supporting landholders to establish and fence paddock trees and shelter belts. The Project has also stimulated the development of the Group’s four Landholder-run nurseries for propagation of seedlings.  While Elizabeth manages the Burrinjuck to Bango Habitat Hops project she also gets involved in the sowing, weeding, thinning and general management of plants in the Bowning-Bookham Landcare nurseries and at the regular group workshops.  Elizabeth has also used this project to gather Landcare members from around the wider region to  explore and decide what positive local actions can be taken to begin adapting farming and conservation efforts to climate change.

While professionally Elizabeth is an organisational change and governance advisor and a company director, her range of skills and interests outside Landcare such as local food, regenerative agriculture and waste reduction show she has a wider passion for community and the environment.  Elizabeth is an outstanding recipient of the award, as were the earlier winners of this service award including Ross Webster, Ray Malam and Jacqui Stol.

Always looking to help out local landholders, Elizabeth also asked us to add that there is room for 5-10 more families located between Burrinjuck and Bango in the Habitat Hops project this Autumn and Winter. Landcare supplies trees and fencing funding with the assistance of the NSW Environmental Trust – interested members of the community can contact Elizabeth on 0437 178 357, look for Bowning Bookham Landcare on facebook or the web, or talk to her at the New From Old Stall at the Yass Community Market on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

YAN Bowning-Bookham Landcarer of the Year

Linda Thane is the 2018-19 Yass Area Network Landcarer of the year for the Bowning-Bookham Districts Landcare Group.  Linda has held the leadership role of President for that group for the past two years.  

One of Linda’s passions is managing a large Landcare native nursery on behalf of the Group, tending and growing several thousand tube-stock each year.  The tube-stock benefit all members and the community by providing free and low cost native seedlings which are planted around our district. Linda also organises propagation and thinning days for group members at the nursery however she undertakes the day to day weeding, management and watering herself.

Linda is a keen supporter of regenerative agriculture, innovative practices and participates in robust debates - always encouraging landholders to have a go at tree planting and to learn more about the local environment.

Linda encourages Landcare members to develop skills and to take up new challenges and learning by encouraging members to attend field days focussing on practical skills and knowledge transfer.

In the last year, Bowning-Bookham District has extended its discussion and actions further into regenerative agriculture and understanding how to adapt to our changing climate.  As President and meeting chair, Linda has guided the group and created a supportive environment for robust and productive debate and action.

900 tubestock planted

It rained for the first time in a long time but it was good weather to give newly sown native seed a drink so five members of Bowning-Bookham Landcare worked in a horse shed rather than the nursery at the latest sowing of native seed at our Fairyhole Rd Landcare nursery. 


900 pots of under-storey plants were sown including Old Man Saltbush, Creeping Saltbush, Hakea Ericifolia, Wooly Wattle and Hickory Wattle.  We look forward to planting them into our Landcare member paddocks after it rains again in Autumn 2019.




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