Re-greening our country aims to create new forests on abused land areas such as degraded pastures & farms and old mining sites. Successful afforestation results in a carbon sink, drawing in and holding on to carbon and distributing it into the soil and providing flood and drought protection. Other substantial benefits include habitat (re)creation, moderation of temperature extremes, increased/moderated humidity levels and frost prevention.
This year Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society (OFF), with help from volunteers from various regions, will be planting at ‘Moorlands’, a property in the Upper Lachlan catchment, 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 pastures along the river flats and rolling hills. 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 have been undertaken to recreate an open woodland environment by rebuilding the functionality of the natural ecosystem at Moorlands. This included the planting of >60,000 native trees, shrubs, grasses & native aquatic plants. Vince is 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/
In August, September and October 2023, another 5,000 trees and shrubs (supplied by Greening Australia) will be planted in 3 paddocks adjoining previous plantings completed in 2020, 2021 and 2020. The tubestock will include eucalypts, acacia, callistemon and many other native species indigenous to the area.
GOALS. One of the goals of this planting is to provide essential habitat for native fauna including endangered species like the Superb Parrot which breeds in the South West Slopes during spring and early summer in grassy box woodlands. Refer to Saving our Species fact sheet: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Animals-and-plants/Threatened-species/saving-our-species-superb-parrot-fact-sheet-180432.pdf
Another goal is to incorporate this planting with the work of thousands of landholders and partners to create Australia’s biggest carbon sink and establish one million hectares of habitat across southern Australia. Refer to the following link for more information. https://www.greeningaustralia.org.au/programs/great-southern-landscapes/ To achieve this goal, Greening Australia provides assistance in terms of tubestock, nature fibre weed mat and tree guards.
SCHEDULE: The available weekends (based on the very busy farming schedule) are: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/oatley-flora-and-fauna-conservation-society-64276597523
- 12 & 13 August
- 26 & 27 August
- 8 & 9 September
- 18-22 September (for volunteers who wish to continue planting during the week)
- 22 & 23 September
- 30 Sep & 1 October
The schedule is flexible, e.g. if family groups wish to come during the school holidays.
To particpate in these events, register for free on Eventbrite using this link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/oatley-flora-and-fauna-conservation-society-64276597523
PROCESS: Soil is prepared ahead of time by Vince, so digging with minimal effort is required. Volunteers will be assigned specific tasks. These can be rotated to avoid fatigue:
- making tree guards and preparing natural fibre weed mats
- digging holes of tubestock (5 meters apart)
- laying out tubestock, tree guards, weed mats
- planting tubestock, fixing tree guard and weed mat
FACILITIES: Shearer’s kitchen, hot showers, camping, power available to charge phones etc, potable drinking water. For those who are not camping on-site, accommodation is available in Crookwell, Yass, Gunning and Goulburn, which are nearby.
MEALS: Self catering.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: the following are suggestions for before or after your visit to Moorlands.
The Upper Lachlan district is frequented by a huge variety of birdlife e.g wedge tailed eagles, nankeen kestrels, lyrebirds, eastern rosellas, australasian grebe. There have been almost 200 species of bird identified as being residents or visitors to the region, including many rare birds such as the powerful owl and turquoise parrot. Some recommended bird watching locations, and approx driving times from Moorlands follow:
A list of the birds of the Upper Lachlan can be found here: https://www.upperlachlanlandcare.org.au/images/birds%20of%20the%20Upper%20Lachlan%20Shire.pdf
The threatened Superb Parrots nest and breed at Moorlands after Vince planted various species of Acacia. For more details of threatened native animal and plant species in Upper Lachlan use this link: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/ThreatenedSpeciesApp/profileData.aspx?id=10645&cmaName=NSW+South+Western+Slopes
ACT. Canberra nature reserves are spectacular.
- Goorooyaroo nature reserve (80 minutes drive , near Gungahlin, ACT)
- Mulligans Flat nature reserve (75 minutes drive , near Gungahlin, ACT)
- Jerrabomberra wetlands. A favourite bird watching spot. Vince saw Golden headed cisticola and Lathams Snipe on his last visit. (75 minutes drive , near Fyshwick, ACT)
- Pejar Dam is excellent for water birds (60 minutes drive , east of Moorlands, towards Goulburn)
- Mundoonen Nature Reserve is very good.(45 minutes drive , south west of Moorlands towards Yass)
- Bango Nature Reserve (60 minutes drive , south west of Moorlands towards Yass)
- Narrawa Road (bridge over Lachlan River) (45 minutes drive , north of Moorlands towards Boorowa)
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST:
- History of Gunning can be found here: https://gunninghistory.blogspot.com/
- Gullen Range Wind Farm, and otheres in the region
- Recently restored ‘Royal Hotel’ (circa 1865) in Dalton – https://www.visitupperlachlan.com.au/stay/hotels/royal-hotel-dalton/
Thank you for reading the above information. This huge task will be lots of fun and very rewarding as well.
It will be a real pleasure to meet like-minded people who care about our environment and make a difference.
Call or text Adrian Polhill (0424 478 498), or email him at email@example.com to register or if you have any questions.