Projects

CURRENT PROJECTS

Photopoint Project – Project to be re-launched in near future.  A project started by the club many years ago to monitor the changing condition of vegetation at multiple locations through repeat point-location photos. Watch this space!

Roadside Cleanup – Four times a year the club does a Roadside Cleanup along a section of the Pyrenees Hwy to the west of Castlemaine (approximately from the top of McKenzie’s Hill, past the Castlemaine Golf Club and the Steiner School, to Woodman’s Road).  See the newsletter or the Calendar under the ‘Events’ tab for details of dates and times.

Challenge Bird Count – For more than 20 years, the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club has participated in this annual event held on the first weekend in December.  It is organised by BirdLife Australia and involves teams from across Australia recording as many birds as possible across a 25km radius area in their local patch within a day.  The various groups that make up the Castlemaine team typically detect a combined total of more than 1000 birds comprising 90-110 different species.  It is a light-hearted competition with no prizes, other than the challenge of lots of birds within your home area.  People of all ages and birdwatching abilities can participate.  For more information, or to get involved, contact the coordinator of the CFNC’s team, Chris Timewell  ( c_timewell@hotmail.com).  Results are published in the Castlemaine Naturalist.

Castlemaine Botanical Gardens weed removal.  A population of the threatened Eltham Copper Butterfly was discovered in 1989 in what is now the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens Nature Reserve, an area of remnant native vegetation in the north-west corner of the CBG.  Broom and other weeds were placing this population at risk, reducing the quality of the vegetation, especially the Sweet Bursaria, Bursaria spinosa, at risk.  Club members were involved in regular weed removal field days over a number of years, removing weeds and planting Sweet Bursaria. The Eltham Copper Butterfly survives in the area in small numbers.

Currently, members are involved in a long term annual program led by member Margaret Panter to remove invasive Needle Grass weeds from the lower section of the CBG Nature Reserve, west of Barkers Creek.  This Club project is funded by Mt Alexander Council to support the cost of an expert contractor to remove these weeds from Council controlled land and roadsides.  Information about the Needle Grass removal project, and ways to identify these weeds, is available in the Castlemaine Naturalist  for December 2017, February, May and December 2019.

Threatened flora monitoring and surveys – Club members have been collected flora records from quadrats from native vegetation remnants across the local area.  A summary of the results is to be provided on the website in the future.

  Please contact the club if you would like to be involved in one or more of these projects – castlemainefnc@hotmail.com

PAST PROJECTS

The Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club has a long and proud history of involvement in natural history and conservation-based projects.

A selection of past projects that the club has been involved with are listed below.  Some of these will have links to further information in the near future.

  • Swift Parrot Project CFNC member Debbie Worland, with the support of the club and many other groups, produced a DVD documentary on the Swift Parrots in the local area.  The DVD is still available (contact Debbie at worland@mmnet.com.au)

  • Birds Australia Bird Atlas Project

  • Roadside vegetation / weed mapping