Pollinators, Paddocks & Profit workshop

The Corowa District Landcare folks have done it again - yesterday's workshop was an absolute treat!

The session was subtitled 'wildlife working for you - how pollinators and scattered trees can add to your productivity and profitability', and attendees included farmers, landcarers and students. The amazing speaker line up featured Dr Saul Cunningham (CSIRO) on pollinators in the paddock; Mason Crane (ANU) on scattered paddock trees and Dr Damian Michael (ANU: based locally) on reptiles in the paddock. Their respective talks noted the ecology of each, their interactions and how that ecological knowledge can be used to achieve to better outcomes on farm, including financially.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that I was thrilled to meet Dr Saul Cunningham, whose research on pollinators I follow. His talk on the roles of honeybees, both 'managed' and feral, and native bees included fascinating data and studies spanning several years. I'm afraid it also reinforced my enthusiasm for my own little backyard-based, citizen science approach to monitoring and observing native bees! [Insert your groan or eye-roll here, as required].

Some great questions and discussions came out of the presentations and continued over a delicious lunch (thanks Savernake Public School P&C!). Then we headed out into the gorgeous sunshine to check out how the theory played out in terms of our hosts' property "Aarden". We wandered and chatted, with each of the presenters adding suggestions, observations and answering questions as we looked at existing infrastructure, revegetation efforts and some impressive paddock trees.

Mason Crane and Dr Saul Cunningham

Dr Damian Michael with a tiny skink

Checking out a magnificent paddock tree

A huge thank you to all involved - Corowa District Landcare (with support from Murray LLS and Corowa Shire) especially the organisers, "Aarden" owners Derek, Leanne & Murk, and the three inspiring researchers who so willingly and effectively shared some of their incredible knowledge and passion. 

You can view some more photos I took at the event here.

I am sorry I didn't capture the fantastic shearing shed in which the presentations were delivered - it was a ripper venue!