Small Blocks, Big Dreams

Guiding Small Property Owners to Become Land Stewards

From early 2022 to April 2024, Small Blocks Big Dreams engaged over 150 small landholders in the Corangamite Region, empowering them to become land stewards while adopting environmental management techniques through tailored land management workshops. The project was delivered in partnership with local Landcare networks, providing local support and expert knowledge.

The project targeted smaller properties with varied land uses, specifically:

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

The project aimed 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 was also designed to develop landholders into ‘catchment stewards’ who can act as mentors for their neighbours and local community.

This workshop series is now complete - we want to thank all those involved. Please sign up to our e-news (scroll to bottom of page) and we'll keep you up to date with future workshops and news.

The Small Blocks Big Dreams Land Stewardship program attracted a diverse range of landholders from across the Corangamite CMA region. Networking and partnering with Landcare was central to the success of the program. Landholders learnt from those who have already taken a journey with bush blocks, are becoming small producers and those working towards sustainable horse management. Hear what participants had to say about their land stewardship journeys:

The project was split into three separate Workshop Series that engaged each specific landholder group.

Workshop Series

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

Once the workshops were complete, participants were required to complete a property action plan using the My Property tool. Click below to access the tool.

Up to $2,000 in incentive money was 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 for an overview of the workshops and some of our landholder journeys:

Bush Blocks
Small Producers
Horse and Other Livestock Owners
Peter and Melanie's Landholder Journey
Di's Landholder Journey
Sustainable Horse Property Management

Why was Small Blocks Big Dreams important?

This project addressed knowledge gaps among small block owners and empowered 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

Social Media

Take a look at some of the Corangamite CMA's social media posts to see more of what we got up to.

Small Blocks Big Dreams Fact Sheet

Download the Small Blocks Big Dreams Fact Sheet for an in-depth look at the project and how it ran

Want to learn more about the project?

Contact the Corangamite CMA

Keep up to date

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