Bellarine Bayside has a range of volunteer opportunities for those wanting to assist with protecting and restoring the coast.
We run seasonal community planting days every year where we welcome a range of individuals to join us for a day to get their hands dirty while learning about the local environments. In addition to these casual opportunities, we have more regular volunteer opportunities available all year round through the Friends of Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve and BeachWatch groups.
The Friends of Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve have helped to protect and restore the biodiversity of this 62-ha area of native bushland since 2001. The area contains important ephemeral wetlands, coastal woodland and grassland ecosystems that support an array of native birds, reptiles and insects, including the growling grass frog which is considered a threatened species.
The Friends group originated with passionate locals who wanted to ensure the future of the flora and fauna reserve and they commenced with the tough work of removing extensive areas of the woody weeds broom, gorse and pittosporum. To this day the Friends’ group supports Bellarine Bayside in the management of the reserve, undertaking a range of activities from weed control to plantings and education activities. Bellarine Bayside supports the Friends group’s efforts by engaging contractors and securing grant funding, tools, equipment and training.
Find out more about Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve here, including links to the self-guided walk brochures.
The Friends of Point Richards meet on Tuesday mornings throughout the year for a 2-hour working bee.
Follow the Friends of Point Richards on Facebook
In 2017, Bellarine Bayside officially launched a citizen science program, BeachWatch, engaging the community in monitoring changes along our beaches. Using survey equipment, volunteers measure sand losses and gains at 25 marker posts scattered along the northern Bellarine coast with all collected data being fed into our coastal monitoring program. The positioning of each marker post was based on a multitude of factors and information including inundation statistical modelling data, historical shoreline movements, geomorphological characteristics, proximity to built assets and perceived recreational value.
It is anticipated this information improve Bellarine Bayside’s capacity to make informed, adaptive and effective management decisions in relation to the coastline through a better understanding of if, when and how the coastal environment changes as a result of coastal processes. Furthermore, Bellarine Bayside hopes the BeachWatch program will encourage and support community stewardship of the coastline and provide opportunities for inclusive community education and engagement in an effort to increase local environmental awareness.
The Bellarine Nest Box Monitoring Program is a citizen science activity that everyone can contribute to!
Nest boxes provide important habitat for hollow-dependant wildlife when there is a lack of old hollow-bearing trees. We have a number of nest boxes in the Lower Bluff Conservation area at St Leonards, as well as the Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve and W.G. Little Reserve in Portarlington. To assist in building knowledge about how our nest boxes are used, we are collecting data about what animals are using them. Everyone can assist with collecting this data by completing a quick and easy survey.
Access the survey here.