Friends of Grasslands 2023 Small Grassy Ecosystem Grants – Applications Invited.

Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is again offering a small number of grants of up to $1500 each for projects that promote its objectives and priorities in relation to the understanding, conservation, and management of native grassy ecosystems. Any individual or organisation can apply.

Very high quality Northern Plains Grasslands in Spring, note the inter-tussock spaces and diversity of flowering herbs (Photo: Nathan Wong).

A grant may be used to solely fund a small project or to partially contribute to a larger project. The nature of an eligible project can involve one or more of the following: education, research, surveys, monitoring, citizen science, on-ground work or training, publications (physical or electronic), advocacy or policy development, publicity and awareness raising, collaboration and networking, Indigenous engagement, or other forms of communication (spoken or written word, visual, other sensory).

Further information and the 2023 Application Form are available from our Grants webpage at

Closing date for applications is Friday 21 April 2023. We aim to notifyapplicants of the outcomes of their applications within six to eight weeks of the closing date. For enquiries and further information please contact us at

For an overview of who we are, how we operate, and the scope of our activities a good starting point is our most recent annual report at

NatureMapr – Australia wide citizen science platform

You or your colleagues may also be interested in using and/or contributing to the NatureMapr citizen science platform and database. Over the last couple of years its coverage, from the original ACT and NSW southern tablelands region, has been rolled out Australia wide. FOG has a direct connection here as some of our members contribute to this in various ways including as founder members and current administrators, expert moderators, and members providing sightings. NatureMapr provides the ability for anyone, via web or smartphone, to quickly upload native and introduced fauna and flora sightings (photo images and/or audio) from across Australia and shortly thereafter receive expert identification. Survey data can also be bulk uploaded. All expert moderator verified sightings, including any subsequent updates, are regularly exported to the Atlas of Living Australia. More members and local expert moderators are needed, particularly beyond the original Canberra Nature Map (CNM) region.NatureMapr has recently turned on its machine learning based moderator, known as Carbon AI (Artificial Intelligence), to significantly assist with the speed and quantity of identifications, and ultimately to free up the expert human moderator experts to focus on the trickier IDs. It is undergoing live testing and is initially being trained to identify more common species. The human moderators have the final say and can disagree with its advice, which in turn trains the AI to become smarter over time. More background and explanatory information on all the above can be found under the dropdown menus on the NatureMapr homepage and on the home pages of the various state and Territory region maps.

Observe, Think, Design, and Implement.

Seasonal Workshop series – Upper Campaspe Landcare Network & Thriving Rural
A well thought through property in Trentham © McQueen

Workshop One – Observation

Autumn: 30 April 2023

The modern outlook on life, including land management, insists that a lot of hard work and ‘doing’ is required to achieve our ambitions. But there is a lot that can be missed in our rush to the finish line.

In this workshop, we learn about the power of observation and some skills and tools that will help us notice the rhythms and systems of the land of which we have stewardship.

By understanding these rhythms, we can start to see how we can work with the land to create a place that fosters farm productivity, ecosystem health and personal wellbeing.

Workshop Two – Think

Winter: 25 June 2023

Observation gives us much to contemplate.

Taking the time to think through what we have learned about our properties through the practice of observation–details of the wind, the water, the animals, the plants, the solar access, the soil, the wildlife, the aspect, amongst many other things-ideas, innovations and solutions often become apparent.

This workshop will talk about systems thinking and how you can use it as a tool to organise your observations, learnings and thoughts to inform decision making and continuous improvement for your property, land management, farming business (and/or life in general).

Workshop Three – Design

Spring: 24 September 2023

Through the practice of observation and the development of skills in systems thinking to order and analyse our observations, we are now well equipped for the Design phase of our land management journey.

Over a 30year agricultural career, our Workshop Guide, Annemaree, has seen a lot of farms and rural properties. She has observed some commonalities between the best of them, but none are the same. They are all reflections of the landscape they are a part of and the people that work them.

There are some fabulous ideas and guidance to take inspiration from, but the thing is – what works for everyone else may not work for you, your property, your animals or your vision. Freeing ourselves from the expectations of others and what you ‘should’ do can be very liberating and can lead to some amazing innovations which work for you, making your life and property better.

Good design that is well implemented can make significant difference to land management, biodiversity and environmental outcomes, as well as farm productivity, profitability, and animal and human welfare.

Workshop Four – Implement

Summer: 17 December 2023

Now we have a plan!

But how do we go from plan to reality? There are many challenges in the doing, and as the saying goes – forewarned is forearmed.

This final workshop talks about the doing – stakeholder and neighbour engagement, regulatory frameworks and barriers, working with Council, DIY vs managing trades, funding opportunities, collaboration, budgets, and – especially important for Annemaree, and I suspect many other people – learning patience and enjoying the process.

These workshops will be delivered across the Upper Campaspe Catchment. Please contact the UCLN Landcare Facilitator, Rebekah at or on 0432 491 789 to reserve your place. Workshop locations will be provided on booking. Given the personalised nature of these workshops, places are limited to 15 properties for this round, so please, get in quick!

Workshop Guide: Annemaree Docking – Thriving Rural

Annemaree is a passionate advocate for looking at different ways of managing land use including designing and facilitating the implementation of contemporary regenerative models of farm planning, agribusiness, sustainability, and economic development.

Annemaree’s career history shows the depth and breadth of experience she has had across industries with strong, well-established links in the business, farming, food and tourism sectors. In addition to this, she has over 20 years’ experience in the livestock, horse (racing and equestrian), horticultural and viticultural industries and 10 years State and Local Government experience in Economic Development, Agriculture and Sustainability initiatives.

Annemaree is a mixed enterprise farmer, marketing produce both online and at Farmers Markets, and is actively involved in her community of local producers and consumers.

Annemaree is experienced in the successful delivery of land management and farming solutions using an innovative, holistic, systems thinking approach to problem solving and program development. As a leader and educator, she designs and delivers best practice programs to raise awareness, offer insights and facilitate behaviour change through the workplace and in the community.

On top of all this, Annemaree is currently a PhD candidate (commenced 2019) studying Regenerative Agriculture Systems and Sustainable Regional Development with Deakin University’s Centre for Regional and Rural Futures.

Wombat Forestcare – You, me & biodiversity

Talk and field event – Peter Crowcroft – iNaturalist 

‘Arachnid, Bug, Cormorant, Daisy – The ABCD’s of using iNaturalist for biodiversity observations’

Genus Dysbatus Peter Crowcroft iNaturalist

Peter Crowcroft A.K.A. possumpete, his iNaturalist username, is an environmental educator and avid iNaturalist poster, where he has uploaded over 11,000 observations of roughly 3,000 Australian species – mostly moths and plants.

Peter regularly travels around the state and country to increase the number of species he has photographed, learn more about the wonders of Australia’s biodiversity, and contribute to its understanding as a citizen scientist. His Masters was on Moths and he is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Education.

Moths are attracted to light at night, we aren’t totally sure why but there are a few theories! Whatever the reasons, we’ll make the most of it on the Saturday night so that we can see and appreciate the most diverse group of creatures that hardly anyone notices. Their incredible variety and artistic camouflage is beautiful to behold, especially if you have a macro camera! Let’s discover together what moths come to the light at Trentham Falls.

Peter will deliver a talk and workshop on using iNaturalist (ideally download the iNaturalist App before the workshop if you think you’d like to use it).

When: Saturday 18 March 2023 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Where: Trentham Neighbourhood Centre, High Street, Trentham Victoria 3458

Try Booking Link:

Peter will follow up his afternoon talk on iNaturalist with an evening session where he will be setting up his moth light at Trentham Falls.

When: Saturday 18 March 2023 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Where: Trentham Falls, Trentham Scenic Reserve Road, Trentham Vic 3458

Try Booking Link:

All are welcome, including children. Plenty of parking. Stay a while or the whole time. Bring your head torches and download the iNaturalist App ahead of time so Peter can help with loading sightings if you are interested.