The Friends of Pallisters Reserve’s conservation efforts have been recognised with a state environment award nomination.
The group won a regional award at the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority Environmental Achievers Awards in Hamilton on June 22 for their role in the protection and management of land and water resources.
The group received the Landcare Coastcare and Community Group award which recognises a group that’s working towards sustainable land use and/or enhancing or protecting an area on behalf of the community.
This regional win qualified the friends for the Victorian Landcare Community Group Award on September 1 at Government House.
Friends of Pallisters Reserve treasurer Trevor Kennedy said the regional win was pleasing and the Orford project had been a labour of love by volunteers who had revegetated the area, including a recent 32 hectare project to plant grasses, shrubs and trees, and worked to eradicate weeds.
“Over the years a lot of changes have been made and we’ve improved the habitat,” Mr Kennedy said.
“It’s been a great project. I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said.
He said group members looked forward to meeting like-minded individuals at the award ceremony.
“It will be interesting to meet other people from across the state,” Mr Kennedy said.
For the past 25 years members have managed the 254 hectare site on behalf of the Trust for Nature with the aim to transform the block bush into an invaluable asset for education, conservation and ecological research.
A recent survey found there were 263 plants, 10 mammals, 127 birds, 11 reptiles and five amphibians at the reserve with remote cameras and hair traps monitoring changes to the reserve and guide for future development.
A major aim is to monitor and conserve the reserve's fauna species which include the black-shouldered kite, the elusive powerful owl, and breeding brolga pairs.
Mr Kennedy said half of the reserve was largely ungrazed woodland, with the rest consisting of exotic pasture that retains some endemic species. It has a network of important seasonal swamps throughout.
The reserve is home to a number of rare grassland plants including greenhood orchids, donkey orchids and blue pincushion.
Mr Kennedy said flora and fauna protection measures included broad scale revegetation, fire control, water regime improvement, monitoring for the presence and change of species and use of nesting boxes.