A $7,500 Coastcare community grant will allow restoration and rejuvenation works to continue at Soapy Rocks in Anglesea. Read more
Anglesea roundabout gets a facelift
More than 90 eucalyptus and wattle trees have been planted on the Forest Road nature strip near the Anglesea/Winchelsea roundabout to offset the installation of the roundabout. Read more
Forum celebrates Green Army achievements
ANGAIR (Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna) held a career development forum in February to celebrate the contributions made by participants, who have been working hard on a range of conservation projects and tasks including fencing, weed eradication, revegetation and mulching along the Surf Coast. Read more
Annual event signals start to spring
Spring has definitely sprung with the warm weather welcoming the ANGAIR Wildflower and Art Exhibition on the 19th and 20th September.
The event attracted locals and visitors of all ages the area to explore the variety of stalls ranging from floral arrangements, propagation stalls and walks and rambles around the Anglesea area.
There was a lot of interest in the GORCC activities, attracting children and adults of all ages with colouring ins, puzzles and valuable information on local flora and fauna.
GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale said the weekend was a great opportunity for local organisations to raise awareness about the work being completed in the area and answer public questions.
“There was a good mix of everything on the weekend with lots of local organisations represented.
“It was great to see people of all ages enjoying the activities we had on offer and finding out more about GORCCs role in the community,” she said.
ANGAIR is a dedicated volunteer group that aims to protect and maintain the indigenous flora and fauna in the Anglesea and Aireys Inlet environments. For more information about volunteering in your local area visit our website.
What were your highlights from the day? Share them with us in the comments below.
Wildflower Weekend a Growing Success
Over 1, 300 attendees enjoyed the activities and displays available at the 2014 Annual Wildflower Weekend and Art Show held 20-21 September, hosted by Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR).
The Show, which saw an increase in numbers this year, aims to celebrate local flora and fauna and raise awareness around current environmental issues.
The 2014 Show included a versatile range of indigenous flora, guided wildflower walks and bus tours, plant sales, bird watching, plant propagation, children’s activities, and art and craft stalls.
The Estuary Watch ‘Water Bug’ children’s activity proved popular, allowing children to view living animals in their natural aquatic habitat through a microscope.
Estuary Watch Coordinator Rose Herben said children enjoyed the activity which raised awareness of the water quality and river health of local waterways.
“A highlight of the day was identifying a large dragonfly, known for its alien like retractable jaw,” she said.
ANGAIR President Helen Tutt said feedback from the day had been positive, with more emphasis on marine life this year.
“Above the stage, there was a beautiful screen display covered in marine photography – it looked stunning,” she said.
If you would like more information regarding similar events and activities, visit the ANGAIR website here.
Did you attend the Annual Wildflower and Art Show? What was your favourite part?
Combined forces sees conservation win
TAFE students have joined forces with a local environmental group, resulting in multiple benefits, including the removal of thousands of invasive weeds and the development of positive, ongoing relationships.
Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR) united with Gordon Conservation and Land Management students recently to remove Sallow Wattle and Boneseed from Anglesea’s outskirts.
The day saw strong relationships formed between the two groups, leading many students to continue to volunteer their time with ANGAIR outside of their studies.
The students, inspired by their experience, have been participating in local working bees and assisting with the propagation of indigenous plants.
ANGAIR Membership Secretary Janet Stephens said students developed a great rapport with the volunteers, proving age is no barrier when it comes to conservation.
“They were terrific – not only were we able to get a lot of weeding done, but we were also able to pass on our knowledge and experience for the younger generation to take on board,” she said.
Gordon Course Coordinator Amanda May said the day was a huge success, with both parties enjoying the benefits of the partnership.
“ANGAIR has benefited from the injection of youthful energy, enthusiasm and muscle.
“In turn, students have learnt a great deal about weed control, working with volunteers, and planning and running a community event,” Ms May said.
In an additional project, Gordon students have also targeted a Bluebell Creeper weed infestation on private properties within Aireys Inlet.
Gordon students Kate Skinner and Rachael Beecham prepared site assessment reports for two Anglesea sites and will now develop a management plan for these selected sites.
“Large amounts of the creeper were removed in June, hopefully protecting rare Orchid plants in the future.
“The beautiful orchids were almost completely covered by the Creeper when we first arrived and we were able to make a positive impact, although there is definitely more to be done,” she said.
For more information on coastal, environmental volunteering visit gorcc.com.au. ANGAIR is always on the lookout for new faces and there are lots of ways you can contribute to the group’s conservation efforts. For more information visit angair.com.au.
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Surf Coast groups benefit from funding
Local community groups within the Surf Coast and Bellarine have received a share of over $40, 000 in State Government funding.
The Coastcare Victoria Community Grants Program aims to support local action that protects and enhances coastal environments.
In 2014, local groups including Jan Juc Coast Action, ANGAIR, Torquay Coast Action and Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment have all been recognised and received funding for their conservation projects.
Local environmental volunteer group ANGAIR has received $2, 000 to count towards re-establishing threatened Moonah Woodlands in Anglesea – a project the group has been working on in partnership with GORCC for more than 7 years.
ANGAIR volunteer Bill McKellar said the group had just 200m of site left to rehabilitate, with the funding set to help complete the project.
“When we started, coastal tea tree – a native to Australia but non-indigenous to the area and an invasive weed – had taken over.
“The occasional Moonah and Bearded Heath had survived, however, they were stretched to the limit and competing for space,” he said.
Mr McKellar said the project had been worth seven years of hard work and dedication.
“The results are magic – it really is extraordinary,” he said.
GORCC conservation officer Georgie Beale said the project was one of GORCC’s most successful restoration projects.
“The increase in biodiversity has been significant.
“As their habitat is re-established, native fauna are moving back into the area as evidenced by the increase in tracks and burrows on the site,” she said.
Schools are also playing an important part in the project.
“Many school groups have supported the works through the GORCC Environmental Education Program including Christian College and St Bernard’s College who have dedicated many hours to the project over several years,” she said.
Mr McKellar said the work has resulted in the return of indigenous flora as well.
“Satin Everlasting (Helichrysum Leucopsideum) – a very pretty flower – has reappeared on the site. This is the only place it can be found on the Surf Coast,” he said.
Department of Education and Primary Industries Coastcare co-ordinator Alex Sedger said the contribution of volunteers was integral to coastal management.
“All volunteers are passionate about their special patches, and often work without asking anything for their efforts,” she said.
Want to get involved? Find out more about coastal, environmental volunteering here. ANGAIR welcomes new volunteers, and information on the group and the upcoming Wildflower Weekend can be found at angair.org.au.
Rare orchid flowers following fire
Autumn orchids are flowering across the Surf Coast including a rare species which rarely flowers unless stimulated by fire.
Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR) sighted a number of orchids during their nature ramble walk, including the Fringed Hare Orchid (Leporella fimbriata).
Orchid expert Gary Backhouse said while the species is common in Western Victoria, with some colonies containing many hundreds of plants, the Fringed Hare Orchid only flowers under special conditions.
“It flowers well only after summer bushfires, with only a small proportion (sometimes none) in flower in the absence of summer fire.”
ANGAIR member Yvonne Coventry said she was one of five who had sighted the orchid.
“The area has undergone a burn in the last 12 months so there were a number of different plants coming up including a small patch of Fringed Hare Orchids.
“The Fringed Hare Orchid is very beautiful and very rare,” she said.
Mr Backhouse said the Fringed Hare Orchid does not only flower in specific conditions, but requires specific circumstances for pollination as well.
Winged male ants pollinate the plant by attempting to mate with the labellum (part of the petal that forms a lip) as they are attracted by the orchid’s scent which mimics that of a female ant.
“The winged males usually emerge from their nests only in warm, humid conditions, often just before rain, and have a very short flight period.
“There may be some years when orchid flowering and male ant emergence do not coincide, and very few, if any, flowers will be pollinated.”
Other orchids spotted by ANGAIR members this month include over thirty Fringed Midge Orchids (Corunastylis ciliate), a species which had not yet been sighted this year and the Parson’s Band Orchid (Eriochilus cucullatus).
ANGAIR and Friends of the Eastern Otways member Margaret MacDonald said there are 110 species of orchids in the Anglesea area and that there were many things we don’t yet understand about the plant.
“All orchids are rare and protected and they interest me because of their beauty, uniqueness and complexity.
“People can get involved by joining the Australasian Native Orchid Society which is based in Geelong or by contacting ANGAIR and arranging a walk,” she said.
ANGAIR holds guided walks every second Monday of the Month. To learn more about orchids on the Surf Coast or to get involved please contact the ANGAIR office on: 5263 1085 or visit www.angair.org.au.
This article appeared in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.
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New flora discovered on coast
Renowned botanist Geoff Carr has identified indigenous plants near Anglesea and Aireys Inlet that have never before been documented in the area.
The plants were discovered as part of Mr Carr’s ongoing study of local flora in the area and included three new plant species which are thought to be rare and vulnerable.
“The plants in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet are of international significance. This is due to the area’s unique location as the meeting point of East and West Victoria,” Mr.Carr said.
Mr Carr will present samples of the plants to the National Herbarium of Victoria where they will be included as part of flora notes on the area.
As part of his study, Mr Carr has been working with local environment groups such as the Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR) in order to monitor the progress of these plants and recently hosted a workshop with local environmental volunteers and flora enthusiasts.
Friends of Allen Noble Sanctuary coordinator Ellinor Campbell said plants discovered included Lemna trisulca, an ivy-leaf duck-weed which is thought to be rare and vulnerable and Austrostipa scabra subs falcata, a rough spear-grass which is known to Victoria but not recorded in the local area.
“Also discovered was Bulbine aff. Glauca, a bulbine lily which has not been documented at this stage but will probably one day be a species and Geranium sp. 4, a rough cranes-bill which has been seen in this area before but is more common in high rainfall areas,” she said.
ANGAIR member Carl Rayner said while the aim of the workshop was to learn about indigenous flora, it also highlighted the importance of the work undertaken by amateur botanists who play an important role in the discovery of new plants.
“Amateur botanists may find new plants when they survey areas of bush or as they compile a plant list for an area.
“It is difficult for professional botanists to survey every last hectare of bush due to the lack of resources available to them,” he said.
“ANGAIR holds nature walks every month on the Surf Coast and occasionally we find new plants,” he said.
For information on ANGAIR or the Friends of Allen Noble Sanctuary (affiliated with ANGAIR) contact Carl Rayner: 5263 2193 or 9331 2810 or Ellinor Campbell: 5289 6581 or 9583 2736. More information about environmental volunteering can be found at http://www.gorcc.com.au
This story also featured in the Surf Coast Times Greening the Coast column.
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Coast connections at student forum
Students from four regional schools came together to celebrate a year of coastal conservation achievements at an environmental forum held in Torquay last week.
The educational event formed part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Coast Guardians Program and included environmental activities, guest speakers and student presentations.
Geelong Lutheran College Middle School Co-Ordinator Georgia Quirk said the forum highlighted the importance and impact of the students’ year of environmental work.
“It was great to see the students come together with the other schools in the program, and realise that what they have done has a larger purpose.
“Together we can achieve a whole lot more and it was wonderful to see our students interacting with others by take part in this community endeavour,” Ms Quirk said.
Participants learnt about indigenous foods, protecting and caring for wildlife, the impact of marine debris on our environment and were encouraged to consider environmental volunteering and future careers in conservation.
GORCC Conservation Officer Georgina Beale said the forum acknowledged the students’ hard work and contribution to maintaining the coastal environment.
“The students have assisted us to protect and enhance the natural environment and supported the incredible work of local environmental volunteer groups,” said Ms. Beale.
The program covered a range of environmental topics integrated with hands-on activities such as weeding, planting and erosion prevention.
Geelong Lutheran College, Northern Bay P-12 College and Lorne-Aireys Inlet P-12 College and Surf Coast Secondary College Students took part in the Coast Guardians Program for 2012.
Each school took ownership of the rehabilitation and conservation of a coastal site with the help of GORCC’s conservation team and supported by local volunteer groups including ANGAIR, Friends of Queens Park and Torquay Coast Action.
Visit or like GORCC on Facebook to see more images of the Coast Guardians End of Year Forum.
What is the Coast Guardian Program?
Students involved ranged from years 7-10 from four schools. The activities the students undertook this year helped to increase awareness of environmental issues and encouraged social responsibility and environmental stewardship and it is hoped that participants will be able to walk along that section of coast in years to come and see the results of their hard work.
The program is additional to GORCC’s general Environmental Education Activities Program and is provided free of charge to the schools involved.
Read more about the program here.
Want to get involved in GORCC’s Environmental Activities Program or volunteering on the coast?
Learn more about it the Environmental Activities Program here.
Visit the volunteer page for further information on volunteering opportunities.
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