The group was established on the 23 June 1997 under the umbrella of the Sutton & District Community Association, with an initial focus on weeds, trees and river care. Improve our natural environment through sustainable environmental management.
Geographical area: The Group also has a long-standing commitment to ensure the well-being of the grassy box woodland area just east of Sutton Primary School, known locally as “Sutton Common” (see project description below) and other areas in Sutton.
Our philosophy: to improve our natural environment by ensuring that all members are fully informed on the principles of sustainable environmental management and how to implement them. Armed with the right knowledge private land-owners can manage their own properties in accord with sound environmental practices.They can also make informed comment to the relevant authorities on the stewardship of publicly-owned land in the Sutton community.
Activities: The major activities centre around talks by visiting experts on a wide range of land management and conservation issues chosen by the members to be of particular priority or interest. Follow-on field trips are sometimes undertaken.
Logo: The Group logo reflects Sutton Landcare’s ongoing interest in trees, plants and wildlife (hence the native bettong in the logo). Bettongs are an endangered species and a new colony is being established at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, just a few kilometers west of Sutton Village.
Landcare meetings are held at Sutton Public School, generally on the second Tuesday of each even-numbered month. The usual format is a short business meeting 7:30 – 8:00 pm, followed by a guest speaker presentation or some other activity, followed by supper. Our meetings are advertised in several local newspapers so that any interested person has the opportunity to attend.
Membership: Financial year membership costs $5 per adult or $10 per family. Payment can be made in cash to the Treasurer, or by direct bank-to-bank transfer to our Bendigo Bank account (BSB: 633-000, Account: 131530883).
Contact: For general inquiries about Sutton Landcare meetings, please contact our Secretary, Marchien van Oostende, on firstname.lastname@example.org, 0402986934
Project: Conservation of “Sutton Common”
It is of high conservation value as it contains a real diversity of floral species, features structural complexity and connectivity, and provides the habitats for threatened animal species believed to frequent this area – including migratory honeyeaters, insectivorous woodland birds, small reptiles and insects. Rainer Rehwinkel assessed this land in 2007 as one of the best of type in the region, and identified more than 250 species of native plants at the site. Since 2000 Sutton Landcare has held several working bees to remove rubbish and noxious weeds from the site. Included is spraying Serrated Tussock and trial release of mites to control St John’s Wort.
In simple terms, the threat is the potential for livestock grazing, seeing that some of the site is subject to permissive occupancy leasing.
On several occasions Sutton Landcare has approached the NSW Government seeking conservation management and protection of this site, but without success. Feedback from Government in 2011 acknowledged the merit of the proposal to conserve the site but pointed out that the land in question is now subject to several claims under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act. Further investigation of our proposal cannot be progressed until the land claims have been determined. So we must sit and wait.