RYANSTON residents raised their hands and committed to protecting the natural habitat of their wildlife by congregating with Bass Coast Landcare Network (BCLN) and volunteers on Saturday morning to plant 2000 trees at the rear of their new property.

Nikki Rowe and Matt Boyce recently made the move to Ryanston, now residing on 7 acres of land and living in their milkshed whilst they renovate their new dream home.

In order to make a difference and utilise their land, Nikki and Matt contacted Jye Andersen, natural resource manager project officer of Bass Coast Landcare, to point them in the right direction.

“Our aim was to create a biolink from our land to the neighbouring property that has already planted over 100,000 trees in the past six years,” Matt said.

Neighbours Anna and Bruce Spiden have worked with Jye and BCLN to develop their wildlife corridor with help from the community and local schools.

“Creating a biolink between these two properties will allow animals to move safely between areas and aid in their breeding,”
BCLN works together with Bass Coast Shire Council, Westernport Water, local farmers and residents to encourage the importance of land management, whether that be agriculture or biodiversity planning projects.

“Our aim is 4500 trees on our land to create the wildlife corridor between the two properties but due to density numbers of volunteers, today we will plant 2000 to get started,” Matt said.

“It’s a shame we’re limited to the number of volunteers to help such projects during the COVID restrictions, but we will continue to update the community with upcoming projects and hopefully one day hold our plant and dance day to get more people involved,” Jye said.

Gippsland Intrepid Landcare and fellow volunteers joined in planting the trees, encouraging the community to become involved in a Landcare project.

Kelsey Tong and Brita Jobling of Gippsland Intrepid Landcare work with volunteers aged between 18 and 35 with the aim of protecting the Gippsland environment.

“Our two networks work together to encourage locals to take part in a project and aid in making a difference to the environment,” Kelsey said.

Jye added: “This property was solely a conversation project but at BCLN we work as a middleman between residents and government bodies to aid in achieving funding and beginning a project like this. It is so rewarding seeing the community and neighbours working together to make such a difference for the area.

“Bass Coast Shire Council has committed to the protection of the environment, ever since declaring a climate emergency and I commend their commitment on such projects.”

If you would like to become a member or volunteer with Bass Coast Landcare or Gippsland Intrepid Landcare, visit basscoastlandcare.org.au or gippslandintrepid.com to find out more about upcoming projects and make a difference to your community.