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Small Blocks, Big Dreams

Guiding Small Property Owners to Become Land Stewards

This project engages small landholders and empowers them to become land stewards while adopting environmental management techniques through tailored land management workshops. The Small Blocks Big Dreams project is being delivered in partnership with local Landcare networks, providing local support and expert knowledge.

The project will target smaller properties with varied land uses, specifically:

  • small producers,
  • lifestyle/bush block owners and
  • horse and other livestock owners

The project aims to increase landholder skills, knowledge and confidence in natural resource management and support landholders to implement on-ground works including pest plant and animal control, soil health remediation, native vegetation improvements and more. It is also designed to develop landholders into ‘catchment stewards’ who can act as mentors for their neighbours and local community.

 

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are open for Bush Blocks Round 2 Workshop Series, hosted by Southern Otway Landcare Network (SOLN).

The Introductory Session is open to RSVPs with Paul West from River Cottage Australia featuring at the session on 21 October near Apollo Bay.

Click below to submit an EOI.

Melanie and Peter were a couple looking for a 'tree change' when they bought their bush block in Scarsdale.

After a few months living on their land, they realised they needed help to figure out how best to care for it.

Take a look to learn more about how the Small Blocks Big Dreams project helped them and how you too can make a difference on your property.

The project is split into three separate Workshop Series that engage each specific landholder group.

Each set of participants are required to complete a property action plan using the My Property tool.
Click below to access the tool.

Why is this important?

This project will address knowledge gaps among small block owners and empower them to think strategically, make informed management decisions, increase active stewardship, improve land, water and vegetation management and increase community landscape resilience in rapidly changing areas.

Existing programs primarily focus on full-time farmers with large enterprises and specific industries (e.g. livestock and cropping).

However, the region has a significant number of landholders using their land for non-farming purposes and small farms, with decreasing block sizes and a decline in full-time farmers, particularly in the region’s growing eastern wedge.

Recent surveys show landholders with NRM knowledge are more likely to implement best-practice NRM and there is declining knowledge from full-time to non-farmers (Curtis 2020). There is  also strong interest from community members in supporting smaller landholders.

Most non-farmers occupy blocks of less than 20 ha, with their main land use for aesthetics (39%), recreation (20%), horses (15%), goats and alpacas (10%).

Such land use can result in negative natural resource outcomes, including biosecurity issues, overgrazing, pugging of sensitive areas, soil erosion, stock accessing waterways, increased nutrient/sediment loads in waterways and remnant vegetation loss. 

“As a landowner, these workshops have shown me our priorities based on the values and challenges that are unique to our property, while giving me the motivation and confidence to know what needs to be done next.”

- Small Producers Participant, Becky McCann

Workshop Series'

Each Workshop Series is hosted by Landcare who run four workshops designed to educate and empower their specific target landholder group.

Participants will have the skills and knowledge available to create their own property action plans once the workshops are complete. Up to $2,000 in incentive money will be available for them to use towards the execution of their plan once approved by Landcare and the Corangamite CMA.

Take a look at the videos below to learn all about the two Workshop Series' currently up and running in different phases of delivery.

Bush Blocks
Small Producers
Horse and Other Livestock Owners

Social Media

Take a look at the Corangamite CMA social media channels to stay up to date with what's been happening throughout the project.

Want to learn more about the project?

Contact the Landcare coordinators below to learn more about their individual workshops.

Lifestyle/Bush Block Owners (Round 2 commencing)

Southern Otway Landcare Network

Small Producers (Round 2 commencing)

Geelong Landcare Network - Bronwyn Merritt

Bellarine Landcare Group - Kate Lockhart

geelonglandcarenetwork@gmail.com

kate.lockhartgrace@gmail.com

Horse and Other Livestock Owners (Rounds 1 & 2 complete)

Upper Barwon Landcare Network - Andrea Montgomery 

andrea.upperbarwonlandcare@gmail.com 

0407 552 663 

Photography and Filming

Please note that at Workshop Series information sessions and workshops there will be filming and photography to create promotional content for the project. Please get in touch with the Small Blocks Big Dreams Corangamite CMA project managers if you have any questions or concerns.

Small Blocks Big Dreams Fact Sheet

Download the Small Blocks Big Dreams Fact Sheet to get an in-depth look at the project and how it will run.

Keep up to date

To find out when workshops and other project activities are being delivered please subscribe to this e-news.

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Previous E-News Issues

E-News #10

E-News #8

E-News #7

E-News #6

E-News #5

Contact

For more information contact Corangamite CMA project managers:

Karen O’Keefe – karen.o’keefe@ccma.vic.gov.au

Sarah Brien - sarah.brien@ccma.vic.gov.au

The Small Blocks Big Dreams project is one of 11 Our Catchments, Our Communities regional on ground projects, funded by the Victorian Government to support catchment stewardship, health, and resilience. 

Contact Us

Colac Office

64 Dennis Street, Colac VIC 3250
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday

T: 1800 002 262
E: info@ccma.vic.gov.au

Geelong office

BARWON WATER OFFICES
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
All mail must be sent via our Colac office
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250

T: 1800 002 262
E: info@ccma.vic.gov.au