City and country planting trees together

By Graham Fry

Group planting, photo from http://www.oatleyflorafauna.org.au/index.php/2020/09/30/off-re-greening-goes-bush/

Graham Fry, the President of East Hills Group is also a member of the Oatley Flora and Fauna (OFF) group. 

At February 2020 OFF monthly meeting the guest speaker was Vince Hefferman. Vince owns a sheep property in the southern highlands in the Gunning area. Some years ago he realised that the way the property was managed was not sustainable and that there had to be a better way.

He discovered the regenerative farming theory and since then has gradually transition the property to a sustainable model. A key part of the process is planting trees and over 60,000 have been already planted on the property to hopefully recreate a similar habitat to what was there before European settlement. He advised that in September he would be holding another regular tree planting weekend and some of our OFF members  expressed an interest in helping with the planting.

So over the weekend of the 18-20th September a group of OFF members joined some other volunteers from the ACT to plant 1800 seedling trees provided by Greening Australia. It was a very successful weekend with fortunately all the planting being completed on Saturday as Sunday was wet, not good conditions for planting but great for the new seedlings. Our members very much enjoyed doing hands-on conservation rather than writing letters or attending protest rallies!

As a follow-up the coordinator of the weekend brought home a bucket of wattle seeds collected on the property. He has since been in contact with Lloyd Hedges who has agreed to assist in a trial propagation of 300+ seeds. The propagation was very successful and they have since been potted into tube stock. It is planned that early next year we will hold a larger propagation day that hopefully will provided plants for another planting in the spring of 2021.

This was a great example of city and country getting together to produced a good conservation outcome. Most of the OFF membership are city raised with limited exposure to rural practices and so it was a good opportunity to see how people on the land practice agriculture.

The full article is here.