North East Victoria
Beechworth Urban Landcare and Sustainability Group love growing food, planting trees, riding bikes, building nesting boxes, swapping seeds and general hearty goodness. We are a community driven, not for profit group auspiced by Landcare Australia. BULS is run by a volunteer committee, and we’d love for you to join us.
We’re independent and community focused, and our goal is to create a supportive culture for understanding, inspiration, action and hope from which the wider Beechworth community can grow a sustainable future together. Through our events and projects we have made significant contributions to the future sustainability of our region winning numerous awards along the way.
In March 2011, following consultation with members, Beechworth Landcare and Beechworth Sustainability formally merged to become Beechworth Urban Landcare and Sustainability (BULS). BULS is also a member of the North East Regional Sustainability Alliance (NERSA) which represents sustainability groups from Albury/Wodonga, Beechworth, Yackandandah and Benalla. NERSA works to promote sustainability and sharing of information and resources across the North East and beyond.
You can read more about the history of each group below
In October 2007, Beechworth Landcare started the “Beechworth Breakfast Blogs” – a regular, informal discussion group for all Beechworth Landcare members and friends. Discussion topics ranged from climate change, waterwise gardening, growing vegies, to community gardening, getting rid of pests (environmental ones!) and a range of other topics
Interest quickly developed beyond informal conversation. When the first public forum was organised by Beechworth Landcare in April 2008, in partnership with Indigo Shire Council, the local community showed enormous interest in the fledgling Beechworth Sustainability Group (BSG). 100+ people attended. The shape/structure of the group was not decided at this first meeting, but it was promoted as a new model of climate change action: a citizens’ action group of partnership and forward thinking.
Beechworth Landcare and Beechworth Sustainability Group then worked towards the Kerferd Oration delivered in July by Tim Flannery, and presented a number of meetings leading up to it.
In August 2008 Beechworth Sustainability held its inaugural Roundtable in the Neighbourhood Centre to discuss with the community how they would liek to develop Beechworth Sustainability. Seventy people attended and four groups were formed: food, water and relocalisation, energy machines, energy audits and legislation and regulation. The functions of the first three groups were largely taken over by the Indigo Environmental Advisory Committee (2009). The Beechworth Sustainability’s food, water and relocalisation group continued to run successful events, under the auspices of Beechworth Landcare, who provide insurance and public liability cover for our events, as well as the structure to ensure good governance for a community organisation.
Beechworth Landcare was formed in 2005 in response to the community’s environmental concerns. It is part of the wider Landcare community, which began in Victoria in 1975.
The objectives of the group as expressed in its Local Area Plan are to:
Our Spring Creek project aims to improve the health of that waterway, which is a tributary of the Ovens River. We are re-establishing, with the help of school groups, native vegetation along the creek, after 150 years of human activity, and in turn improving habitat for native birds and animals. We have taken walks in the bush to look at the environment in former mining areas, and at vulnerable orchid sites. We have returned to Jack’s Creek to see the emergence of a fresh and beautiful waterway from a tangle of blackberries. We have run movie nights in conjunction with Beechworth Sustainability. The events are both social and educational in nature.
So Landcare is not just a tree-planting group, and it’s not in any way a political mouthpiece for the VFF. We are trying to put our principles into action by providing a way for people to become involved in the stewardship of both the public and private natural environments; this stewardship acknowledges our wider sustainability responsibilities.