Mid Loddon Landcare Network face a big problem. Bendigo is growing, and that means pressure on the farming community and the bush surrounding Bendigo. Here is Judy Crocker, the Network’s facilitator:
“Subdivisions on small blocks with very little backyard mean people are losing contact and interest in the wider environmental landscape. Urbanites have very little understanding of how to care for their new environments, and their employment leaves them with little time for social contact with the community or the environment. Even urban environment groups don’t have much understanding of what’s happening in the rural landscape beyond their city.”
Members of the Mid-Loddon Network's six Landcare groups (plus one Conservation Management Network) , are established farming families and blockies, all with an eye on looking after their bit of country. When the Network Committee sat down with CLEA to think about the future of the Network, they chose this Question Without an Easy Answer:
“How do we get city folk to understand and appreciate farmers’ issues?”
That was in 2015. Fast-forward to 2018 and the Network has tested many ways to connect to environmental enthusiasts from Bendigo and Melbourne. Chief among these is using curlews to bring people in.
In May 2018, CLEA sat down with Judy Crocker to get an up-date. Keeping public land reserves and forests in good condition is critical to the Network’s goal of protecting and increasing wildlife in their landscapes:
“If our only remaining hubs of small populations of wildlife are on degraded public land, building strong partnerships with State Government agencies and public land managers is essential. We want those populations to increase to the numbers that can naturally spread further across our Landcare-supported landscapes.”
Here is 10 minutes on what the Mid Loddon Network has done to bridge the gap between urban and rural people.