With the assistance of Mr Phil Worts from Land for Wildlife we went ahead and applied for an Environmental Community Grant through the Department of Environment and Conservation. We were elated to be one of the recipients.
In the interests of transparency it was decided that we should run the projects as separate projects side by side.
It was actually very easy to do as they were an exact replica of each other and it meant that we were able to achieve a lot more this year than we ever imagined.
With the ECG grant we fenced 3.8 kilometres of land that extended from a neighbours regeneration project along Cockatoo Creek through to the start of the Tone River. We took out a lot more land that our original Land for Wildlife asked. in all 44 hectares has been locked away. The selected native plants were planted along the western side of the creek line. Hopefully next year we willl be able to plant on the other side.
The SWCC grant had us installing 4 kilometres of fencing starting at the Tone River and extending through to an area of pristine bushland. This bushland was originally not included however once Jorn and i were out there doing the work, we thought how crazy it would be to not extend the project to link up with this area. It has never been farmed and is just under 300 hectares in total. It is expected that the diverse flora of this area will assist regeneration on the side of the Tone River. Again we replanted with specific native plants on the western side of the River. In all this project has seen 52 hectares of land returned to native flora and fauna.
We have only just begun! Seriously, there is so much more work to do to help the environment. There are another three areas identified in our Land for Wildlife guide that we would like to attend to.
Over 100 hectares of land has been given back to nature. This was land that we had previously earned good money from. However the long term wealth of the creek and river system is dependent on not only us but other farmers deciding that the environment is taking a front seat.