December 22, 2021

Twenty-eight local landholders have newfound confidence to plant trees on their properties to achieve multiple benefits such as timber production and biodiversity, after graduating from the Bellarine Master TreeGrower Course.

The Bellarine Master TreeGrower Course was delivered in partnership with Bellarine Landcare and Otway Agroforestry through funding from the Corangamite CMA.

Under the guidance of Rowan Reid, founder of the Australian Master TreeGrower course, Australian Government Landcare Farming Award recipient Andrew Stewart and Otway Agroforestry Network Officer David Curry, participants attended an eight-day course teaching them to improve outcomes on their farms for conservation and profit.

The course covered various topics, including the role of multi-purpose trees on farms, tree management, using trees for biodiversity and sustainable profit. Multiple field visits were conducted to a selection of participants properties.

This course was one of four courses funded by the National Landcare Program through a five-year partnership with the Corangamite CMA and Otway Agroforestry Network.

Corangamite CMA’s Chelsey Agg said, “It was great to partner with Bellarine Landcare and Otway Agroforestry Network to deliver this course to assist farmers with the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge around the benefits of growing more trees on their property”.

Ms Agg continued, “We are confident that the training and new partnerships that were developed will form an ongoing relationship of support and encouragement for landholders ready to put their new learnings into practice”.   

Bellarine Master TreeGrower Course Coordinator Kate Lockhart said, “Landholders have gained new confidence to plant trees for multiple benefits. Participant’s expectations were often exceeded when they discovered all the ways trees are being used on farms”.

Graduation day saw all participants receive their certificate of completion and their ‘Master TreeGrower’ farm gate sign and badge.

Ms Lockhart said, “It was incredibly rewarding to hear the Graduates share their stories about the value they got from the training sessions and communicate their future aspirations for Master Tree Growing, inspired by the course”.

The next Master TreeGrower course will be held in Heytesbury District in 2022 interested participants should contact Otway Agroforestry via the Contact Us page: . This project is supported by the Corangamite CMA through funding from the Australian Governments National Landcare Program.

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