Introduction

Since 2010, Friends have been involved with local schools in tree planting days.

The first school to be involved was Daylesford Primary School. 150 indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses were planted above the creek just north of the picnic table.

Since then, Daylesford Secondary College Gettin’ Dirty and Hands on Learning students and more recently the students from the Dharma school, Wesley College Clunes campus, Bullarto, Yandoit and St Michaels Primary schools, have assisted the Friends with their planting endeavours.

Grants from State and Federal Government, the Daylesford and District Community Bank, Daylesford Community Op Shop, Landcare Victoria, North Central Catchment Management Authority and Hepburn Shire have enabled these events to go ahead.


Gettin’ Dirty

The Gettin’ Dirty program was initiated by Leading Senior Constable Jim Ross from Moorabool police back in 2006 when young people who seemed at risk of leaving school early were invited to take part in a community-based program which aimed to increase and develop basic skills and self-esteem, and also to develop a sense of ownership of public places by young people.

The Friends have been the chosen community group to work with Year 7 and 8 students at Daylesford Secondary College and over the years they have planted over 700 trees along the corridor of Smith’s creek. Additional funding has enabled the engagement of educational programs.


Child Safety Policy

Please download the FOCH Child Safety Policy. This policy will be reviewed annually.


2019 so far…

Hands on Learning Program

An endangered species! Sam

We have been working with Daylesford Secondary College since 2012  and are indebted to the College and their students who give us their time to complete our tree planting program.

In June this year, team staff member Tania Dunn, volunteer Tim Farmer and students Brandon, Sam, Jett, Sebastion and Josh from the Hands on Learning Program got on with the job planting 100 trees and shrubs on the Reserve below Stanhope street.

Blackberry demolition

HOL is a method used by schools to engage students who otherwise may fall between the cracks. The focus is on forming and maintaining quality relationships between the students, their peers and their community and we couldn’t do all the work required without their help.

RAINBOWS IN THE SKY – on Tuesday 15th October.

Funded by the Daylesford Community Op shop with support from Daylesford Community bank as well as Landcare Victoria and Hepburn Shire, the focus of this workshop was on our local birds and their habitat.

Read more about this event by opening the program outline.


The Gettin’ Dirty program:

Later in the year, students from the Gettin’ Dirty program will be joining us for their 8th visit.

Leading Senior Constable Jim Ross has been our person of contact and over the years, some 800 trees and countless grasses have been planted by the students.

We are looking forward to welcoming the Gettin’ Dirty team on Monday October 21st October as well as Monday 1th November when they will be will be helping us plants more trees and shrubs.

Wesley College Clunes visit Cornish Hill, May 30, 2019

The kids from Wesley College

Sam Pearson demonstrates seed propagation techniques

Despite the terrible weather, we were joined by Wesley staff and students on Cornish Hill today.

Whilst we didn’t complete any tree planting, the students were treated to a seed propagation session conducted by Friends committee member Andrew AKA Percy Sam Pearson.

And then a walk around the Reserve to check out the mining sites of particular interest was the Argus mine. There is something about tossing a stone down the 1000 foot shaft and waiting to hear it land!

A great day after all spent with interested students and staff, loving our connection with Wesley College and we hope that there is another time this term that they can come and plant the trees.

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE SCHOOL EVENT

Looking for macroinvebrates

On Tuesday 26th March, staff and students from the Dharma school, St Michaels, Bullarto and Yandoit primary schools got out of the formal classroom to take part in an interactive environment program on the Cornish Hill Reserve.  By being out in the fresh air and in touch with nature, the students learned to manage their own learning to become confident, caring and well informed environmentally aware citizens.

making grass boats.

Lead on the day by passionate and well qualified presenters Nicole, John, Erin, Jodie and Ann, students discovered the wonders of creek life as they explored the world of macroinvertebrates, tested the water quality of Smiths creek, discussed the connection between land, water and people, made little grass boats each containing a message of hope to sail down Smiths creek, used various magnifying techniques to discover insect life and to top it all off, each of them made their own clay frogs which once fired, will be exhibited in the Daylesford Community Bank.

Success with funding from Landcare Victoria, the Daylesford Community Op Shop as well as the Daylesford Community Bank enabled the Friends of Cornish Hill to host this event and we look forward to being able to offer more wonderful educational opportunities to our local schools.

Up close and personal with the Precious Huntsman spider

Stick insect


The hands on crew.

On Thursday April 4th, Hands on Learning students from Daylesford College gave the Friends a lending hand when they helped plant out trees on the Reserve. 

An area high up on the Hill had been troubling us for some time. It had been completely denuded of any vegetation during the mining era, the gorse infestation had also been sprayed some years ago, it had been earmarked for a CFA training exercise burn about 4 years ago and that fell through, the gorse had been brush cut down and was starting to grow again. Due to the effect of mining, the soil consisted of largely of compacted clay with some well-rotted down gorse acting as a bit of a mulch. Ouch!  Ably led by staff team leader Tania Dunn and staff member Tim, the crew planted 30 trees in that clay which we mixed with native potting mix.  The trees were watered both before and after planting and  protected by weeds and tree guards.  We also had great support from Daylesford Rotary member Colin and the ever reliable Friends member Ivon. The Friends are eternally grateful for any help they can get when it comes to revegetation and we can’t thank these kids and everyone else enough. And it was terrific to welcome the new comers and see some familiar faces amongst the crew today.  Thanks to funding from Landcare Victoria for funding us for this project


2018

Thursday October 25th Gettin’ Dirty with years 7 and 8 young chaps from DSC.  They will be planting grasses in the morning followed by a session with Hawk and Owl. Check them out at www.hawkandowl.com.au.

Friday 26th October –  a visit from the Dharma school and installation of handmade frog signs along the Smiths creel corridor. I’ve attached a photo for your interest.

Monday 5th November – In total, 200 grasses were planted by the students from the Gettin’ Dirty program.  This achievement contributes to us meeting our target of 500 grasses for the year.

Thursday 15th November – Visit from Wesley College Clunes. Our focus has been on planting the common tussock grass or Poa labillardierei and another 200 were plants be the staff and students.  We have been working with Wesley now for a couple of years.  With students being Melbourne based and attending the Clunes campus for one school term the Cornish Hill experience is very different one for them.  Plants are sourced from Matt Pywell’s wild Plants in Ballarat.  Matt has been a keen supporter of the Friends since we began working with schools.  You can always reply on him supplying plants of very high quality as well as being the right provenance for Daylesford area.

Planting grasses along the creek line.

The Wesley Crew.

Thursday 27th November – Year 9 DSC Hands on Learning ear marked for this date was cancelled due to the weather.

The remaining grasses will be planted by the Dharma school years 5 and 6 students on Friday 7th December.  And that will complete our school programs for 2018.

On March 26th 2019, Students from local primary schools will take part in a one day workshop on the Reserve called Under the Microscope.  Details to come early next year.

 Members of the public are welcome to attend these events however you must have a current Working With Children Card.

Contact Margie on 0409216252 for more information.


2017

This year as well as planting 400 grasses on the Reserve, the students were treated to a presentation by Leigh Valley Hawk and Owl Sanctuary.  Martin Scuffins brought along a Nankeen Kestrel, a Hobby falcon, as well as a Wedge Tail Eagle.  The following week we travelled to Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, the largest feral-predator-free ecosystem in Australia, located just north of the You Yangs, near the town of Little River.  The fenced 420-hectare site protects a large number of threatened species and contains native carnivorous marsupials such as the Eastern and Spotted-tail Quoll, the critically endangered Southern Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, and the mainland’s largest population of the now extinct (outside of our fences) Eastern Barred Bandicoots. Past and present volunteers have been instrumental in the development and maintenance of Mt Rothwell and they continue to play a major role in the sanctuary’s ability to save wildlife and survive. Being totally fenced, the property is predator-free but they do have a problem with rabbits.  During our visit, the students assisted with the installation of a rabbit-proof fence along a boundary line, securing fine wire mesh to larger mesh of the fence and attaching the wire using staple guns. Programs like these can only go ahead if we secure funding.  This year, Gettin’ Dirty was funded by Landcare Australia in partnership with Coca-Cola Foundation.

Planting the grasses
Handsome Yarrum
Installing the rabbit proof fence
The Gettin' Dirty Team

2016

On October 18th and 25th 2016, the program was funded by Landcare Australia in partnership with RACV. The objectives of the program are for each student involved to achieve success, gain self-esteem, improve their social skills and increase their connection into the community. Its success lies with getting the students outdoors to learn hands-on skills such as plant identification and revegetation techniques.


2015

Kids Teaching Kids

Kids Teaching Kids is an education model that uses local environmental issues as a theme for learning and such a program involving the Dharma school, Yandoit and Bullarto Primary Schools was held on Cornish Hill on Wednesday 28th October 2015. Students from Bullarto Primary school were the teachers.  Guided by Environmental educator Nicole Howie, the students ran a workshop involving water quality testing, exploring the underwater world of macroinvertebrates and studying habitat of birds commonly found on Cornish Hill. The event was funded by both North Central Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning.