As the blackberry action program is a grass roots program embedded within and run by community, it offers a unique approach to dealing with blackberry. Support to initiate control and/or reinvigorate landholders’ enthusiasm towards ongoing management is the key.
Why has this been so successful and what are the best ways to engage with landholders ?
We asked Danielle Cleland, Project Officer with the North East Blackberry Action Group, her thoughts. ‘The Project Officer (following the program designed by the Committee) is the direct contact person for your landholders.
‘From my experience it works well if the Project Officer is not someone directly involved within the community (so as to avoid any perception of bias or personal conflict). A good project officer who is able to relate to people easily, be open to different situations and provide an unbiased point of support will quickly engage landholders. The ability to build relationships with people, starting where they want to start (blackberry in this case), is a critical skill. As the reasons for unmanaged blackberry are complex, understanding ‘why’ is necessary in order to proceed with a negotiated management plan.’
‘First, establish that weeds are the responsibility of the landholder, understand why the blackberry infestation is out of control then negotiate a plan.’
Read more “Tips For A Successful Blackberry Program’ in the latest edition of the VBTNews – May 2015.