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    15108: Encouraging Sustainable Land Management through Education in the Peel Region.

    The state NRM grant will support the continued Equine Landcare Project set up in 2014 by Landcare SJ. The project will deliver four workshops, two property planning courses and two field days in both the Shire's of Serpentine Jarrahdale and Murray. During a 2015 general information meeting landholders were asked to record what were important issues they had managing their horse properties and what topics they were most interested in. Landcare SJ used the results of that questionnaire; of weed management, pasture management, PIC numbers and soil health, to guide topics covered by our events. The project will also see the support of the newly created SJ Equine Landcare Group and see an extension of the group's membership base, continued attraction to new members, provision of information to members as well as the general public and the successful holding of events. 

    Sustainable horse management (SHM) lifts the environmental health of an area by decreasing pollution, the spread of weeds and soil erosion. The provision of specifically tailored information for the sustainable management of equine landholdings will enable landholders to stop and mitigate associated land degradation effects. Horse keeping can cause soil degradation, increased erosion, introduction of weeds, pasture damage, damage to native flora species or lead to their clearing. This will lead to increased health of the landholder's horses, their properties and see surrounding environmental health also grow. 

    In the Serpentine Jarrahdale shire there are many small equine landholdings. Equine landholders are generally keen to improve and keep their properties healthy as it leads to healthier animals, decreases feed costs and enhances the appearance of their properties. To decrease and prevent the associated negative impacts of horse keeping in the local area the creation of a Serpentine Jarrahdale Equine Landcare Group will aim to inform local equine property owners, arming them with the skills needed to create and implement sustainable practices on their properties.

    The community events will also combine with the long running Biodiversity Stewardship Program to provide two field days and a set of information sessions. The program commonly referred to as Healthy Habitats supports the creation and development of native bushland on private property. Field days in this program usually focus on land management topics such as weed and pest management, tree health and seed collection.

    Urban areas are often characterised by fragmented bushland areas, the development of healthy habitats was to provide support to private property owners interested in maintain their remnant bushland areas property and to increase the health and well-being of their bush. Increasing the amount of bushland in urban and peri-urban environments can reduce degrading processes such as erosion, increase the amenity of an area, increase community mental heal and well-being as well as provided natural corridors for the movement and habitat for native flora and fauna. 

    Landcare SJ has extensive experience in providing well run, supportive information events to the community and have recognised a need for increased education for the local community in sustainable land management practices.

    

    Investment: $ 31 000
    In-kind contribution: $ 58 000
    Delivery organisation: Landcare SJ INC
    Project duration: July 2016 - July 2017
    Location: Murray, Shire of
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