Loving Grasslands doco to premiere on 29 November
Published on 22 November 2022
Hume City Council and Guerin Group Films will host a cast, crew and community screening of a new enviro-doco series at Hume Global Learning Centre in Sunbury, on Tuesday 29 November 2022.
Loving Grasslands is a series of 4 x 10min documentaries featuring passionate landholders and ecologists working in Hume’s Green Wedge to restore and manage land in harmony with nature, helping to save critically endangered grassy ecosystems from extinction.
The series was commissioned by the Hume City Council to capture stories of landholders managing land within Hume’s Green Wedge and showcasing sustainable land management practices for both production and biodiversity conservation.
Producer-director-writer, Brendan Guerin, said he was inspired to create the series while working in Hume bush crew in 2020-21, in a role funded by Working For Victoria during the Covid downturn.
While researching the topic, Mr Guerin said he learnt that as little as 2-5% of temperate grasslands and grassy woodlands remain in Victoria, with less than one percent thought to be highly diverse and intact, according to official surveys and Greening Australia.
Urban sprawl, European-style farming, over-grazing, weed and pest invasions, the use of superphosphate and the decline of Indigenous burning regimes have all taken a toll.
With themes of conservation farming, biodiversity and eco-burning, the series aims to raise awareness of indigenous grassland and grassy woodland decline and give support and recognition to the emerging restoration movement across Victoria’s volcanic plains.
Quotes attributable to Hume Rural Engagement Project officer, Anne Fitzpatrick
“We are constantly looking at ways to engage with the rural community to inspire and inform.”
“This film series will be a valuable way to tell positive stories of what can be achieved in the Hume landscape to a wider audience”.
Quotes attributable to Loving Grasslands Producer-director-writer, Brendan Guerin
“Over the six months, I met many landholders and ecologists deeply committed to overcoming formidable weed infestations and passionate about restoring indigenous plant communities on their land; not just trees and shrubs but also the understory of forbs and grass species endemic to the region”
“Our challenge was to find onscreen talent who were knowledgeable and passionate and had a restoration story to tell that could be realised in a visually compelling way.”
“In some cases, we chose to use archival and stock footage to help strengthen the narrative and hopefully take viewers on a satisfying journey into the grasslands.”
Facts about Grasslands
- Australia’s Natural Temperate Grassland and the Grassy Eucalypt Woodland are endemic to south-western Victoria, primarily on the Victorian Volcanic Plain west of Melbourne.
- Grasslands and Grassy woodlands were formerly extensive across the Victorian Volcanic Plain. Less than 1% of native grassland now remains, mostly as small and highly fragmented remnants. The Conservation status of native grasslands is critically endangered, under the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
- A University of Melbourne study in Western Victoria showed the region’s 880 hectares of remaining grassland declined by 29% between 1984 and 2004.
- Grasslands and grassy woodlands are home to diverse flora and fauna and are important for maintaining regional, state, and national biodiversity. A number of rare and threatened species occur within grasslands including the threatened Striped Legless lizard and Plains-wanderer and the endangered Growling Grass frog.
- Grasslands have been home to small mammals, for example the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, which have become extinct or very rare since European settlement due to habitat loss and predation.
- Native grasses are mostly perennials and persist well in the Australian environment. With drought in Australia predicted to become more frequent, native grasses will be better able to cope with adverse climatic conditions than many exotic pasture species.
- Native grasses provide a lower input grazing system, reducing dependence on finite resources. They tolerate low fertility, acid soils and water stress, with many active in warm seasons, providing feed and lower fuel risk.
Find out more and register for the Loving Grasslands free screening event