Belubula Park is located on the Belubula River near Canowindra, about 4 hours west of Sydney and 2.5 hrs north of Canberra. This 400ha (960 acres) property has about 3.5km of river frontage, with ownership on both sides. There are two platypus dens (with platypus) in the river and many native animal species, including the threatened Superb Parrot.
Robin Aitken & Jonathan Sanders manage the property for their brother-in-law, Rick Arnheim, who bought it about two years ago. Jonathan is an ecologist and Robin an archaeologist and they have both have worked in the National Parks and Wildlife Service for most of their careers.
The property was quite run down and neglected when they arrived, with almost no ground cover due to overstocking and set stocking, especially during the three year drought up to early 2020. After the change of ownership, lower stocking numbers, rotational grazing and good rainfall over the last two years has allowed the native ground cover across the property to regenerate well. However the rain also brought the challenge of enormous numbers of weeds and this has been an important focus of management.
Rick’s vision, which Robin and Jonathan are working to achieve, is to improve the ecology and biodiversity of the property, and especially the soil health, while running a sustainable meat sheep enterprise, with regenerative farming as the basis for management.
Environmental improvements over the last two years have included:
· Fencing the riparian zone to keep stock off the banks.
· Planting a mixed riparian forest of 1000 plants with river red gum, yellow box and river oak and a range of understorey and ground cover plants
Robin and Jonathan are very pleased and excited to be selected by Rotary so they can achieve Rick’s and their goals and begin nurturing the landscape back to full health.
A re-greening event is scheduled for 15 & 16 April 2023, when 800-1,200 tubestock will be planted to widen the riparian zone and start the tree lot. Tubestock will be sourced from a local nursery which has previously supplied them with native trees and shrubs suited to their area.
Julieann McDonald and Terry McMullen own Calrossie Farm, a 16ha (40 acre) property on Joadja Road, 15 minutes west of Mittagong, 1.5 hrs from Sydney. Their property includes some woodlands which Julieann, a Landscape Designer and Horticultural Consultant, wants to expand as part of their overall revegetation plan.
Several attempts have been made to establish native plant corridors for birds, wildlife and also as windbreaks for their stock (horses). Unfortunately due to drought and now extensive flooding, many of the existing plantings have failed, however some particularly hardy species have survived!
Julieann is in consultation with local native nursery Wariapendi to ensure plants chosen for the November planting can thrive in both drought and flooding. She is hoping to incorporate Allocasuarina trees for Glossy Black Cockatoos, a selection of Eucalyptus and Leptospermums for smaller native birds. Several fences are being built to protect the proposed planting.
Julieann and Terry are very excited and grateful to be part of the Rotary Adopt a Tree program. A re-greening event is planned for 5 November, 2022 when approximately 750 tubestock will be planted.
David and Pam Kensit graze cattle and sheep on their property, Moorabinda, near Crookwell. Their 1600ha (4,000 acre) property which has been in the family for over 100 years is located 3.5 hours from Sydney (2hrs from Canberra).
They have been revegetating their property, parts of which front the Crookwell River. A variety of native trees and shrubs have been planted in selected paddocks at the same time as reducing the number of cattle and sheep grazing.
Pam is the Mayor of Upper Lachlan Shire, an artist, a published author and ex-film maker.
A re-greening event of 1,000 tubestock is scheduled for 19 October. The tubestock comprising eucalypts, acacia, callistemon and many other native species indigenous to the area will be sourced locally and from the Menai Wildflower Group.
The beautifully refurbished Moorabinda Guest House is available for up to 10 people.
Moorlands is owned and managed by Vince Heffernan, a 6th generation sheep grazier and noted expert on new forms of regenerative land management.
The 1200 ha (3,000 acre) property which has been in the family for over 180 years is located 3.5 hours from Sydney (1.5hrs from Canberra). Located in the southern tablelands fronting the Lachlan River, its contrasting terrain includes lush green pastures, rolling hills and rocky hills where the only access is on foot.
Vince follows a combined organic/biodynamic approach coupled with rotational grazing to produce lamb which has won gold medals in ‘Delicious’ Produce Awards 3 times in the past 4 years.
In the past 20 years great efforts were undertaken to rebuild the functionality of the natural ecosystem at Moorlands. This included the planting of >60,000 native trees, shrubs, grasses & native aquatic plants.
Vince is also the Chair of Upper Lachlan Landcare Inc. which supports land owners in the region to enable them to care for the environment.
For more information: https://moorlandslamb.com.au/
Two re-greening events (each of 1,000 tubestock) are scheduled for 2 weekends this September to fit in with the very busy farming schedule.
The tubestock comprising eucalypts, acacia, callistemon and many other native species indigenous to the area will be sourced locally and from the Menai Wildflower Group.
Brian and Narelle Bulmer raise Angus cattle on their property, which partly fronts onto the permanent Cooks Vale Creek, near Peelwood approximately 45 minutes north of Crookwell, 2.5 hrs from Canberra (3.5 hrs from Sydney).
Their 200ha (500 acre) property includes some woodlands consisting of stringy bark, red gum, acacia and remnant box trees.
They have been revegetating and rehabilitatingtheir property with a variety of native trees and shrubs in selected paddocks at the same time as reducing the number of cattle and sheep grazing. This included fencing off an erosion area, building a dam and conducting earth works. In 2016, they planted 5000 trees and shrubs by themselves along on the creek, which unfortunately flooded one month after planting. Only 15 trees have survived.
Another biodiversity project which they are linking into is the Kanangra Boyd to Wyangala (K2W) Link which provides a natural corridor used by migratory species as they move between the temperate woodlands of the central and southern slopes and tablelands, and the forests of the Greater Blue Mountains and beyond. Brian and Narelle have installed some glider possum boxes as part of this project with the aim to have box trees connected across the landscape for the gliders to travel safely.
They belong to the Peelwood/Limerick/Tuena Landcare Group (PLTL) which successfully obtained a Landcare Wildlife Relief & Recovery Grant in 2020. The focus of that grant was to restore dieback habitat due to the impact of drought and secure wildlife refuge points across the landscape.
The Rotary Adopt a Tree program has come at a great time for Narelle and Brian. They so pleased to be selected by Rotary as they already have a goal to plant 2000 trees and shrubs in a fenced off area of 10ha (25 acres) containing some remnant box trees.
Therefore two re-greening events are scheduled: 500 tubestock to be planted 29 October, 2022 with another 1500 tubestock in autumn 2023. Tubestock will be sourced from a local nursery which has previously supplied Brian and Narelle with good quality native trees and shrubs suited to the Peelwood area.
Tina and David Allen raise a small herd of black Angus cattle on their property, Renrow Park, on the Wombeyan Caves Road, High Range, 15 minutes west of Mittagong, 1.5 hrs from Sydney.
Their 40ha (100 acre) property, includes some remnant woodlands which they want to expand as part of their overall revegetation plans. Their northern boundary is <500m away from the Nattai National Park and has been identified as a koala corridor. So, specific eucalyptus species are being introduced to provide habitat for koalas.
Another revegetation intuitive pursued by Tina and David is to establish allocasuarina trees (she-oaks). When mature, these she-oaks will provide the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoos with foraging and breeding habitat. This is part of the Great Western Wildlife Corridor which is the only vegetated habitat corridor between the Southern Blue Mountains and Morton National Park.
As part of their plan, David and Tina have also established several ‘leaky weirs’ which have already transformed one creek into an almost permanent waterway.
In March this year, Rotary volunteers launched the Adopt A Tree program with the Allen family by planting 200 native trees and shrubs in one of their dedicated nature areas.
The next re-greening event is planned for 6 November, 2022 when approximately 500 tubestock (eucalypts, allocasuarina, acacia and native grasses) will be planted along both sides of a watercourse in a grassy 3ha area. Tubestock will be sourced from a local nursery and supplemented by some tubestock from the Menai Wild Flower Group.
“For five generations, Charles Massy's family rode on the sheep’s back and nearly destroyed their land in the process. After the drought in the 80s and 90s almost sent him broke, he switched to regenerative agriculture and watched his overgrazed land recover. In his mid-50s, Charles Massy started a PhD, visiting 80 top regenerative farmers to see what they were doing differently. That led to his ground-breaking book ‘Call of the Reed Warbler’, a plea to farmers to start working with nature.
Maintaining groundcover by destocking and moving stock regularly is key to regenerative agriculture. The groundcover protects the soil, improves its health, the plants trap water and are home to insects for natural pest control.” Charles featured in Australian Story on ABC in 2020 https://www.abc.net.au/austory/breaking-new-ground/12697330
The Massy family’s sheep grazing property, Severn Park, covers approximately 850ha (2,000 acre) and joins the Wullwye National Park. It is located close to Berridale, 2hrs from Canberra (4.5 hours from Sydney).
The Severn Park strategic plan to instigate vibrant biodiversity contiguity includes some permanently fenced off native grasslands under covenant to the NSW Biodiversity native conservation trust for regenerating endangered native temperate grasslands.
The Massy family and friends have planted 1000s upon 1000s native trees and shrubs commencing in late 1980s. As a result of this work, and collaborating with botanists and biologists, there are up to 145 bird species (including now endangered resident woodland birds), many native mammals (e.g. kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, wallaroos, dunarts (native bush mouse), sugar-gliders, southern ring-tail possum, brush possum), and some rare reptiles (e.g. highly endangered Monaro earless dragon), the rare white-lipped snake and more than 145 native grasses.
The Rotary Adopt a Tree program means Charles and the Massy family can continue their biodiversity plantings to a carefully planned approach based on landscape functionality principles.
Two re-greening events (each of 1,000 tubestock) are scheduled for 2 weekends this October to fit in with the very busy farming schedule. The tubestock comprising eucalypts, acacia, callistemon and many other native species indigenous to the area will be sourced locally and from the Menai Wildflower Group.
A re-greening event of 2,000 tubestock is scheduled for 15 & 16 October. The tubestock comprising eucalypts, acacia, callistemon and many other native species indigenous to the area will be sourced locally.
Andy and Tabitha Zarins moved to their farm in Candelo in October, 2002. Tabitha grew up in the Bega Valley in the 1970's and when she returned it was as time had stood still in the valley, nothing much had changed at all. She held many fond memories of her childhood there and "it felt like home", she said.
Andy and Tabitha raised two sons on the farm and had a daughter in 2006. The farm is not the main source of income for the family, Andy works in health and Tabitha is a qualified Horticulturist who studied holistic land management and built up a small flock of sheep where she developed a small wool enterprise known as Tabandy Farm.
In the 20 years they have been on the farm they have experienced 14 years of drought which has brought with it many challenges and adaptations. In 2019 and 2020 was the worst of the dry times they had ever experienced with the worst fires the state had ever known in recent times. The farm survived and has flourished over the past few years with decent rains and recovery of plant life and grasslands.
However, due to the drought, weed species had taken hold such as serrated tussock in particular and this is where the Rotary Adopt A Tree project will be used to regenerate and stop the spread of this devastating invasive tussock.
Rebecca and Julian's property comprises 100 acres of pasture and bushland adjoining Mt Jellore Flora Reserve along two frontages. The property is on Mt Jellore Lane, Woodlands, which is 15 minutes west of Mittagong, 1.5 hours from Sydney
The property had been cleared in the past for grazing and more recently impacted, along with the Flora Reserve, by bushfires. This has led to a loss of middle and upper canopy, and a loss of diversity in the understorey.
To encourage regeneration of the native flora and fauna, Rebecca and Julian have begun planting various species such as Acacias, Christmas Bush, Waratahs and Banksias. They are working with local native plant nursery Wariapendi and indigenous nursery IndigiGrow to identify and source plants suitable for the area.
Where cleared land is already regenerating, there is a sparsity of canopy trees so here the focus will be on adding Eucalypts. In other places where native cover is sparse, a fuller spectrum of under/mid storey and canopy is needed.
As members of "Friends of Mt Jellore" Julian and Rebecca participate in community activities such as planting, weeding and rubbish clean up around the Reserve.
Julian and Rebecca's aim is to provide flora connections between their property and the Flora Reserve, increasing habitat for native species including gliders, koalas, glossy blacks and other birdlife.
This Project has been supported by a Seeding Grant from the National Australia Day Council
Rotary acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging.
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