- year formed: 2012
- MembersHIP: 34
- Plants in ground 2022/23: 35,800
- CHAIR: Grace Couchman
At the subsequent meeting on 17 June 2012, the group was officially named the Kongwak Hills Landcare Group, with the motto, “from backyard to bush”- the name intended to demonstrate that the group was desirous of embracing the Kongwak valley and hills and welcoming anyone interested in caring for our land and the environment. While membership numbers are currently small, it is hoped that through word of mouth, marketing and observable activities, membership will grow. The group felt it was important to ensure that membership is available to anyone with an interest in land care, whether or not they were a local landowner.
You can contact the group directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Become a member
Membership is $35 per household, per calendar year.
Sign up or renew your membership here.
Community planting days
Join volunteers to get plants in the ground.
Usually a morning session rewarded by a hearty lunch.
Group projects and events
Instigate a group project or help organise and carry out a speciality group event.
Join or support the KHLG Committee
Chairperson: Grace Couchman
Treasurer: Katie Davis
BCLN Board Rep: Libby Lambert
Held 4 times per year.
Provide input, socialise, network.
Do you have a project in mind for your property?
As a member of KHLG, core activities that Bass Coast Landcare Network can help fund are:
• Remnant protection
• Vegetation management courses
• Waterway protection
• ACUP courses
• Targeted weed control
• Pest animal management
• Soil health projects
Click here for more information.
The Kongwak Hills Landcare Group has developed GPS track maps and an interactive tour of the Kongwak Pioneer Reserve which includes informative podcasts about it's history and the flora and fauna within the Reserve.
This data can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet and used while you explore the Reserve.
Access the Interactive Tour
On your device:
1. Download the Google Earth or Google Earth Pro app.
2. Download the interactive tour file - here.
3. Open the file in Google Earth or Google Earth Pro.
Track maps can also be downloaded here.
Kongwak Hills Landcare Group has had recent success in obtaining funding from Planet Ark and South Gippsland Shire Council grants to support it’s "Love your Reserve" project.
The project focuses on education, restoration and preservation of the Kongwak Pioneer Reserve, 41 hectares of significant remnant vegetation in the heart of Kongwak township and home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, some threatened.
In recent years, the Reserve has suffered the effects of "die-back" to it's vegetation and is in need of love from it’s community.
Project events will coincide with "National Tree Day", kicking off with a Community Tree Planting Day within the Reserve on Sat 29 July. It will be celebrated with a “Bush Foods” feast for lunch, including Wolfgang’s renown gourmet sausages seasoned with bush herbs, native fruit and honey bliss balls and river mint tea.
In conjunction with Kongwak Primary School’s “Sustainable Kongwak” program, KHLG will also host a planting event on Schools Tree Day and a further 3 educational workshops where students have the opportunity to gain an understanding and contribute to the sustained health of the Reserve. Workshops will involve indigenous plant propagation, learning about biodiversity and what makes a sustainable forest.
KHLG is excited to create an opportunity to connect with the Kongwak community and further educate on this beautiful and significant place in it's "backyard".
Thank you to the Kongwak CFA and other local brigades that undertook the cool burn to help prepare planting sites.
Project supported by: 2022/2023 South Gippsland Shire Community Grants Program
and Planet Ark Seedling Bank.
6 box designs based on those by Maffra & District Landcare Network and East Gippsland Landcare Network. (Download pdf file here).
Targeted species: Crimson Rosella, Spotted Pardalote, Kreff’s Glider, Kookaburra, Owlet Nightjar, Treecreeper.
120 boxes constructed by Wonthaggi Men’s Shed and painted by KHLG members.
Bass Coast Tree Care installed boxes 3-4m from ground, in upper-story species of vegetation.
Educational presentations by:
Dallas Wyatt - local bird expert
Jane Taylor - Environmental Educator
Gio Fitzpatrick* - Naturalist of Living Space Ecology
(*session still to come - watch this space!)
Periodic inspections of nesting boxes with monitoring equipment and birdlife surveys carried out by Jane Taylor.
2 cameras on telescopic poles. Cameras connect wirelessly to smart device for live-view and image capture.
Walking track development
Construction of additional walking tracks by the Green Army and BCLN works crew, created links to all tracks within the Reserve. Picnic tables and benches installed.
Working with Drift Media, KHLG recorded a number of informative podcasts about the history and the flora and fauna within the Reserve. This has been complied as an interactive geotour that can be used while exploring the Reserve.
Educational paddles and directional signage within the Reserve has been developed and installed.
Weed maintenance, burns and revegetation planting has been conducted to preserve significant flora and fauna.
Creation of a logo and Facebook page to raise awareness of the Reserve.
South Gippsland Shire Council
Kongwak Community Group
Bass Coast Landcare Network
Kongwak Hills Landcare Group works with landholders, organisations and the community to support revegetation projects by coordinating the volunteer support to get plants in the ground!
Community planting days usually involve a morning of “planting out” a prepared revegetation site, followed by a social gathering over a meal afterward.
The “planting season” takes place over the cooler months, June - September.
Equipment used includes:
Individually potted tubestock or Hico trays of 40 plants. Tubestock is usually laid out where it is to be planted.
Hico plants are “popped” from trays and carried in buckets.
Hamilton and/or Pottiputki (to suit tubestock type).
Site and funding specific. Used to deter rabbits, wallabies, etc.
Gloves, sturdy footwear, rain and wind protection.
In 2000, I purchased a 32 ha. valley of ‘blue gum country’ at the top of the Powlett River catchment, in South Gippsland.
The native floral biodiversity included six mature eucalypts, some declining mature blackwoods, silver wattles, and a few native grasses along the tracks. The fauna consisted of quails, magpies, kookaburras, some migratory birds, a few reptiles and frogs, the Giant Gippsland worms on south and east facing slopes, burrowing crayfish, loads of eels in the dams, foxes and one hare.
The Gippsland forest had been cleared in the late 1800’s and the land used for dairy farming then as grazing for young heifers. In 2000, it had few weeds - blackberries, thistles, some ragwort and boxthorn in a steep gully, and some mature pine trees, weeping willows and five
"Springbank" transition 2000-2023.
Landcare contributed over 43,000 tubestock consisting of 64 locally sourced indigenous flora species
16 ha. of revegetation will be covenanted by Trust for Nature
As with all revegetation, weed management is an issue but as the tree canopy closes over, the only pest issues continue to be the garden escapee ‘Forget Me Nots’ (Myosotis scorpioides), the blackberries bought in by the birds, and the foxes which live under them. The perimeter fences need regular upkeep in order to exclude the livestock, as trees regularly fall across them.
Over 64 species of resident and migratory birds are regularly observed including some less common species. There are eastern grey kangaroos, black wallabies, echidnas, possums, wombats, migratory koalas, microbats, various snakes, skinks, frogs, lizards, and numerous bugs and insects.
The Trust for Nature (TFN) is in the process of covenanting 16 ha. of revegetation containing the Giant Gippsland Earthworms to protect this habitat in perpetuity. They have also replaced and repaired the perimeter fencing and carried out woody and herbaceous weed control. I retain ownership of the land and have formulated a management plan in consultation with the TFN for the covenanted land.
Landcare have installed a number of nesting boxes in the trees for native birds and animals to use as the trees will take many years to develop nesting hollows.
The original eucalypts have been incorporated into the revegetation or have been fenced out of the paddocks.
I still raise and fatten beef cattle at low stocking rates and will continue to do so into the future.
I am honoured to have had the opportunity to re-establish a small microcosm of the magnificent Gippsland forest that once stood here.
Libby Lambert - "Springbank", Bena
"Springbank" is home to many species of wildlife.
Revegetation in the Bass Coast Shire: information and images of local indigenous plants
Birdlife Australia: bird information website and app
Ebird: bird information website and app
Xeno canto: bird call database website
The Australian Bird Guide (Second Edition): field guide book/hardcopy
Morcombe's Birds of Australia: field guide app
Beginner's Guide to Bird Watching and ID: webinar from Birdlife Australia
Local plants to encourage birds:
Prickly Moses, Hazel Pomaderris, Narrow-leaf Peppermint (E. radiata), Messmate Gum (E. obliqua), Manna Gum (E. viminalis), Lomandra, Dianella, Hop Goodenia.