Hotspots Workshop Update 2020-21
Friday, 5th March 2021
Due to COVID-19, the Hotspots Fire Project adapted its workshop series to an online format. The community at Black Range on the south coast near Bega embraced the challenge of trialling this new delivery format. The material from our normal Workshop 1 program was delivered over five online meetings, with participants able to engage by annotating maps and through break-out groups. Workshop 2 components were delivered over two consecutive days when some restrictions had eased, and although weather prevented burns on both days, participants valued the chance to gather in person and explore themes out in the bush. Participants said that besides a few technological issues, the online format was a success. There are plans for the group to gather in March to go over community mapping and the Hotspots team is looking at options for integrating the online format into future projects.
Another successful workshop series was delivered to the Mid-North Coast communities of Topi Topi and Bungwahl, near Myall Lakes, over October and November. Supported by the Mid-Coast 2 Tops Landcare Connection and Local Land Services, the workshops were split across four days to meet COVID safe restrictions and the high demand. Windy weather hampered the burns, but there are plans to support participants to attend a demonstration burn as well as a commitment to host a second workshop series for the Mid-North Coast area in 2021-22.
Up north, an information day was held in the Nana Glen area, which received a good turn-out of residents in preparation for an Orara Valley workshop series in autumn 2021. Also for autumn, a workshop series is planned for the Wingecarribee area in the Great Western Wildlife Corridor in conjunction with Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project, Land for Wildlife, and the Biodiversity Conservation Trust.
Looking ahead, Hotspots will be delivering a joint workshop with NCC’s Large Forest Owls Project in the Richmond-Clarence lowlands later in the year. A workshop series is also being prepared for the communities around Berry and Kangaroo Valley and to be delivered in July-August in conjunction with Great Eastern Ranges Nature Connect and aligned NCC Bushfire Program workshop area, replicating the successful model delivered with the community in Tathra.