Merri Creek Management Committee

The Upper Merri and Upper Plenty areas have abundant natural vegetation and wildlife, beautiful hills and waterways and productive farmland. While it’s a wonderful place to live and farm, there are land management issues, e.g. weeds, that affect many rural properties. MCMC employs a Landcare Facilitator for this area who can help to provide local landholders with a way to work together to address land management issues, access project funding and ensure the land is cared for and managed sustainably into the future.

What is Landcare?

Landcare is about a simple idea: the community coming together to discuss land management issues, and to design and implement practical, collaborative solutions to address these issues.

Groups can form around a wide range of issues including pest plants and animal management such as rabbits or blackberry, biodiversity conservation, waterway protection and local projects; and each group’s focus is directed by the interests of its members.

Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator

The Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator's role is to enable the effective participation of Landcare and environmental volunteer groups, schools and youth groups, landholders and the wider community in natural resource management activities that protect, enhance, and restore the natural environment, and improve sustainable land management.

Chris Cobern began as the Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator in 2021. Chris is keen to hear from other landowners, organisations, businesses, schools and youth organisations, and individuals in the Mitchell Shire who would like to help protect and enhance the natural environment and agricultural productivity of our region.

The Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator:

  • supports Landcare and environment groups to apply for funding for on-ground projects on both public and private land;
  • provides increased knowledge and ongoing skill development through participation in workshops, field days and information sessions;
  • provides support and advice.

Chris's contact details are:

Go to Upper Merri Landcare News to read our latest monthly newsletter with articles relevant to landowners and people interested in the environment in the Upper Merri Creek and Upper Plenty River catchments. Or sign up to get it emailed to you every month.

The Facilitator role is supported by a steering committee which is made up of representatives from the Merri Creek Management Committee, Mitchell Shire Council, Friends of Merri Creek and Wallan Environment Group.

Funding for the position for 2021 to 2024 came from the Victorian Government’s Landcare Facilitator Program. The Victorian Government has provided the funding to contribute to the salaries of facilitators who will support the work of local Landcare communities to protect, enhance and restore our natural environment and to work towards becoming self-supporting. For more information about the Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program click here

News about MCMC's Upper Merri Landcare program follows.

Nest Boxes Wallan Park WEG and ScoutsThere's lots of events happening at the top of the Merri catchment involving the Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator, Chris Cobern. Some recent events were: Workshop on Nesting Boxes for Wildlife on 29 June at Wallan Scout Hall (photo); Wallan Environment Group planted 270 plants in and around the Indigenous Use Garden at Taylors Creek Reserve in Wallan on 13 June; various local groups removed patches of Blackberry, Gorse and Briar Rose from along the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail on 10 April;  Wallan Secondary College students and others planted 1000 native trees and shrubs along at Hadfield Park in Wallan on 4 April as part of the Hadfield Park Naturalisation project.

Chris's position is hosted by MCMC with a grant from Victorian Government Landcare Facilitators. For more detail, see the latest Upper Merri Landcare News HERE, or subscribe to receive their newsletter (and other events) HERE.

Chris Cobern landcareWe welcome Chris Cobern, the first ever Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator.  Funding for the position is from a Victorian Govt Landcare Facilitators grant for a one day per week postion, until June 2024. Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. He will be focused on increasing community natural resource management activities in the Upper Merri (and the upper Plenty) community.

Chris is pursuing the formation of a Landcare group in the area and is keen to hear from interested people. He'll also be encouraging the formation of Friends groups in more suburban parts of the upper catchment, as well as supporting existing groups.

Chris can be contacted on Wednesdays at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Vols x 4 18 4 21In a first for MCMC and for the Upper Merri, we will be employing a Landcare Facilitator to fill a Landcare ‘gap’ in the upper Merri and upper Plenty catchments in the Shire of Mitchell and the City of Hume.

The Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator will work with MCMC, Friends of Merri Creek and the Wallan Environment Group on project funding, organising events, engaging the community and trying to create or resuscitate other Landcare-oriented groups in the upper catchment.