A Word from the RALF (September 2023)
On July 18 2023, Hay Landcare and Riverina Local Land Services collaborated on a tree planting workshop hosted at the property of Marg and Colin Bull, known as ‘Oakville.’ The focus of this workshop revolved around the remarkable habitat corridors established by Marg and Colin across their p roperty, showcasing the benefits these corridors bring to soil health, flora and fauna, while also contributing to the accrual of natural capital.
The habitat corridors involve the strategic fencing of designated regeneration and revegetation sites. Marg and Colin have undertaken a dual approach, employing both direct seeding and hand planting of native tube stock plants endemic to the area.
Marg’s hands-on dedication to nurturing these corridors is evident in her regular activities, ranging from meticulous watering to vigilant pest and weed control. With an impressive daily planting rate of 80 plants, her commitment to restoring native flora and fauna is unwavering.
The recent workshop held on their property provided a unique hands-on experience for participants. A demonstration of Hay Landcare’s three-point linkage tree planter, skillfully towed by a tractor, attendees acquired insight into the machinery’s operation and the benefits it brings. Through collaborative efforts, a staggering 1,100 plants were successfully planted in three hours. Among the plants integrated into the project were Miljee (Acacia oswaldii), known for its unique characteristics, Boree (Acacia pendula) and Saltbush, which thrive in challenging conditions, and Nitre Goosefoot (Chenopodium nitrariaceum), a hardy plant well adapted to the local environment.
Beyond the immediate success of the plantings, the workshop succeeded in motivating landholders to explore avenues of revegetation on their own properties. Participants not only had the opportunity to operate the machinery but also engaged in the placement of tree guards, enhancing their understanding of the holistic process. Marg’s day concluded with the crucial task of watering, ensuring the newly planted flora receives the care necessary for their growth.
The preparation of the site undertaken by Marg and Colin involved strategic fencing and the preparation of the soil. The process included springtime ripping of the area and winter spraying to control unwanted vegetation.
Habitat corridors on farms improve soil health, provide refuge and food for diverse fauna and flora, contribute to the accumulation of natural capital and provide windbreaks and shade for livestock.
The collaboration between Hay Landcare, Riverina Local Land Services, and the diligent work of Marg and Colin Bull show the potential of habitat corridors to enrich ecosystems, support local biodiversity, and create sustainable natural capital for both present and future generations.
This article was written by Jade Auldist. Jade is the Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator (RALF) for the Riverina region. Her role supports farmers, industry and community groups (including Landcare Groups) to adopt new and innovative sustainable agriculture practices.
For further information on this article, please contact Jade at email@example.com.