Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CO­RAL COOK­SLEY

Woor­agee Land­care’s Su­san Brun­skill (left) helps Beech­worth Ur­ban Land­care and Sus­tain­abil­ity (BULS) mem­ber Mary Kroma at a BULS re­gen­er­a­tion dig­ging for Sil­ver Banksia plants ad­ja­cent to the Beech­worth rail trail near Mel­lish Street last Sun­day that marked Na­tional Tree Day.

A NA­TIVE tree plant­ing project is well un­der­way af­ter the han­dover of young plants by one lo­cal land­care group to an­other to mark Na­tional Tree Day last Sun­day.

A Woor­agee Land­care two- year prop­a­ga­tion project that has come to fruition pro­vided plants to Beech­worth Ur­ban Land­care and Sus­tain­abil­ity ( BULS) group to help with re­gen­er­a­tion of Banksia marginata species more com­monly known as Sil­ver Banksia or Honey­suckle.

Woor­agee Land­care group mem­ber Su­san Brun­skill said around 200 were be­ing planted with 40 in Beech­worth and the re­main­der in Woor­agee on both pri­vate and pub­lic land.

The plant that grows across the south­ern states from South Aus­tralia up to Ar­mi­dale in NSW and down to Tasmania has been in de­cline in many ar­eas in­clud­ing Woor­agee and Beech­worth re­gions.

Ms Brun­skill said among the rea­sons for the de­cline in­cluded seedlings and young plants be­ing eaten by deer, ge­net­i­cally in­breed­ing through bush frag­men­ta­tion and changed fire regimes as well as lack of seed set­ting through pollinators, and cli­mate change.

Closely re­lated to gre­vil­leas, Ms Brun­skill said the Sil­ver Banksia pro­vided nec- tar and a habi­tat for pollinators such as hon­eyeaters, feath­er­tail glid­ers, sugar glid­ers and insects.

“Wet­ten­hall En­vi­ron­ment Trust fund­ing pro­vided set- ups for seed production ar­eas for the project,” she said.

“There will be enough seed to col­lect and prop­a­gate plants for fu­ture reveg­e­ta­tion.”

Ms Brun­skill said North East Catch­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity fund­ing had also helped with en­gag­ing a project of­fice who col­lected seeds and cut­tings from lo­cal ar­eas ( un­der per­mit) for prop­a­ga­tion.

“As we are all vol­un­teers, it was a good chance for us to catch up with BULS mem­bers and give them the plants for their plant­ing on Na­tional Tree Day.”

BULS pres­i­dent Helen Robin­son said plant­ing will take place in ar­eas ad­ja­cent to the rail trail on Indigo Shire land and along Spring Creek.

“It’s a five- year project where main­te­nance and har­vest­ing of seeds will be on­go­ing,” she said.

A funded tree give- away to Woor­agee Land­care mem­bers to help in­crease in­dige­nous plants on prop­er­ties marked the Na­tional Tree Plant­ing Day too.

Ms Brun­skill said sig­nage for the re­gen­er­a­tion project would be un­der­taken with funds re­ceived from Indigo Shire.

PHOTO: Co­ral Cook­sley

PHOTO: Co­ral Cook­sley

PLANT DIGS: Beech­worth Ur­ban Land­care and Sus­tain­abil­ity (BULS) pres­i­dent Helen Robin­son (left), sec­re­tary Nicki Munro, project co­or­di­na­tor David King, Woor­agee Land­care mem­ber Su­san Brun­skill, BULS mem­ber Mary Kroma and Woor­agee Land­care mem­ber Karen Bow­ley.

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