For ten years, Connecting Country has been uniting Landcare groups, government bodies, landowners and other volunteers in an effort to restore the bushland of the Mount Alexander region in central Victoria. Through a combination of on-ground works, community engagement, scientific monitoring, and support for Landcare groups, they have contributed to making central Victoria a refuge for Victoria’s threatened woodland bird community.
Their vision ‘…is for the people of the Mount Alexander Region to be proud of the beautiful, productive, healthy and diverse landscapes, habitats, forests, waterways, flora and fauna that we have supported and created in our region.’
Connecting Country’s incredible efforts in revegetating the area have visibly changed the landscape. Throughout the Mount Alexander region, many areas of remnant vegetation are now protected, and trees now grow where before there was nothing but dry and dusty paddocks. Their work helping landowners to bring the bush back to their properties has meant that state and national parks are no longer the only havens for native wildlife.
Among the many benefits of this work, it would appear that Victoria’s threatened woodland birds have been given a fighting chance. Robins, finches, honeyeaters, and more have been hard-pressed by past land clearing and the introduction of invasive species. Combined with a changing climate, they face an uncertain future. Yet, Connecting Country’s decade of restoration has provided them with a sanctuary in a heavily fragmented and deforested state. By connecting the countryside, these Community Conservationists have given some of Victoria’s most vulnerable species a fighting chance.