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Creating a Forest from a Paddock

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Healthy Environments

Bronwyn Humphreys and Peter Halliday contacted the Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management Inc (WNRM) to see how they could help with their dream of turning their paddock into a forest. WNRM assisted with funding as part of the ‘2015 Bushcare Grants Onground Works funding.’ The assistance was twofold; for feral animal control, they received five rabbit control bait stations and the loan of one fox control cage. To help them create their forest, WNRM provided 9,600 seedlings which allowed them to revegetate 8.2ha of the property. 

Revegetating the property was very important to Bronwyn and Peter, Bronwyn came from a nature conservation background and they both wanted to replant an ecosystem, with trees shrubs, grasses, creepers and wildflowers to create homes for native animals and help restore the biodiversity in the area. 

Bronwyn and Peter were specific in their brief to WNRM that they only wanted to plant species that were native to the York Region. They knew there were 1,400 native species so wanted to create a strong, biodiverse selection of plants. Bronwyn and Peter were grateful that WNRM were very flexible and worked on the seedling list with them until all were happy with the selection to be planted.  

Bronwyn and Peter continue to contribute significantly to the revegetation of their property. They eradicated the weeds on the property without the use of chemicals and purchased and erected all the fencing as well as rehabilitated the creek at their own cost. They also paid for 50kg of 1080 poison to use in the rabbit and fox traps. Bronwyn and Peter continue to maintain the revegetated area to keep it free from weeds and pests. They have now planted over 25,000 York species plants on their 16ha property. It is a continuous annual planting process of both increasing numbers and York species diversity.

Bronwyn proudly stated that the biggest positive impact achieved from the assistance provided by WNRM is that “we have created a forest from a paddock, complete with all of nature’s chaos.  We have created a natural wildlife corridor and restored the web of life. We now have: dragonflies, monitor lizards, wedgetail eagles, 50 species of birds, frog biodiversity, snakes, possums, kangaroos, four species of owls, and unverified signs of echidna in our revegetated haven. In addition, the country looks so much better broken up by trees and with more wildlife.”

Bronwyn readily shares her story with neighbours and anyone who is interested in biodiverse revegetation. She says that “one of the most important aspects of revegetating land is to include locally grown native species and to spend time before you start working out which species are going to have the best success rate on your site. Speaking to organisations like WNRM and local farm tree nurseries was particularly important to increase the chances of seedling survival.”  

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