Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: Connecting Country (Mount Alexander Region) Inc

ProjectStewards for Woodland Birds

Amount$75,600 over two years


ProgramPast Programs | Environment

This grant was approved under previous grants policy
Rural and regional Victoria Enable local landholders and community environment groups to implement habitat enhancement works for the Woodland Birds program
Building organisational capacity Build the environmental stewardship capacity of local landholders across eleven priority zones
Collaboration and partnership 30 local landcare and friends groups, Birdlife Australia, the Norman Wettenhall Foundation, Trust for Nature, North Central Catchment Management Authority and the Mount Alexander Shire Council

Securing the future of central Victoria’s woodland birds

Connecting Country uses a grassroots approach to land and biodiversity management. This project empowers local landholders and groups in central Victoria to initiate, implement and maintain restoration projects for local woodland bird habitat.

Image Community members on the look-out for woodland birds and other native wildlife at a recent Connecting Country field day, Sedgwick, Victoria.

Many landholders in the Mount Alexander region of central Victoria are concerned about the decline in the ‘threatened’ Victorian Temperate Woodland Bird Communit due to drought, on-going habitat decline and other damaging processes.

Connecting Country has developed a 10-year action plan to secure the populations of five woodland bird species across the region – the Hooded Robin, Diamond Firetail, Painted Button-quail, Jacky Winter and Brown Treecreeper. Eleven priority zones for protection and restoration of habitat for these species has been identified, each of which includes a mix of public and private land.


The Stewards for Woodlands Birds project:

  • Empowers landholders and community environment groups through training in woodland bird identification and conservation practice.
  • Increases capacity of local landholders to actively engage and inspire other landholders to develop local projects and to monitor birds and habitat restoration.
  • Strengthens communities and increases social cohesion in rural areas.
  • Enthuses new landholders to implement habitat enhancement works for woodland birds on their properties.
  • Identifies and further develops funding for local projects which will contribute to the larger Woodland Birds project.


“Thanks to the HMSTrust, this project is supporting local communities to take greater ownership and responsibility for the long-term persistence of their local birds, their ecology and their conservation." Chris Timewell, Connecting Country Director