The Day of the Drone
It is amazing how one thing can lead to another when you put people together with a common interest in natural resource management. This was certainly true of the day the Timor West community came together for a Field Day on Friday 22 September at Dunluce earlier this year (2017).
Timor West Landcare wanted to demonstrate the things they had achieved over the past five years through their participation as a community in two programs that have the common goal of seeking to build and/or regenerate the health of the soil in difficult granitic terrain. The two program are the North Central Catchment Management Authority's Farming For Sustainable Soils (FSS) program, and Project RENEW. FSS is community-based and supported by the National Landcare Program. RENEW is also community based and is supported by a consortium involving the North Central CMA, La Trobe University, the City of Greater Bendigo and the Northern United Forestry Group. RENEW is funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust (HMST).
The day was a fantastic success. In pits dug by an excavator participants could readily see how plant roots were now penetrating the soil to depth. Deep manure injection, and incorporation of heavy stubbles had put enough organic matter back in the soil to allow plant roots to penetrate the subsoil.
A by-product of that day was re-acquaintance with old friend, Philip Ashton. Philip is a a deeply respected media consultant from Dunolly and he was at the Field Day filming video for the Timor West Group. In informal discussions we learnt of his new venture into filming landscapes with a drone he had recently purchased. It was immediately obvious that this presented an opportunity for the Northern United Forestry Group. There was no letting the grass grow underfoot because the following week saw the NUFG agree to have Philip fly and film Kamarooka.
The flight occurred on Tuesday 10 October. Witnessed by several members of the NUFG Philip's amazing machine took to the air and flew over the Bill Gallagher Education Centre, the 2004 plantation and the 2005 plantation. The resulting video clips were spectacular. About a week later we recorded stories over the clips and published them to our FACEBOOK page. In the week that followed over a thousand people viewed the videos.
Links to the three videos are presented below.