By Kristy Brewer
Did you know that with the variability in seasons we always plant in winter? We order our trees, grasses and shrubs 8-12 months ahead of the planting season and we collect seed for our projects the year before we plant. We do this because planting local seed means stronger trees and these species meet the needs of our wildlife perfectly.
Landcare really is for everyone, there are so many different ways to be involved. You can be involved at a property level implementing strategies and actions to protect natural assets. There are activities that anyone can implement. Exclusion fencing is an excellent example. It can be strategically placed and installed to protect paddock trees, creeks, wetlands, rivers, patches of remnant bushland and natural springs. These types of actions can be easily incorporated into your farm or property plan.
Planting native shelter belts is another great option and one that attracts tax deductions if you are a primary producer. (See the resources section of our webpage for more information about tax incentives). Once established strips of native vegetation help to reduce wind speeds and provide shade and wind protection for stock throughout key times of the seasons. After several years the native vegetation will begin to flower, set seed eventually becoming self sustaining. These strips support woodland birds on the farm and or property by providing much needed shelter from predators, nesting areas and materials, food and places for pray such as beneficial insects to live.
The variety and abundance of woodland birds in rural environments can tell us a lot about the health of the surrounding remnant vegetation. Sadly woodland birds have declined significantly as a result of the region being cleared for agriculture. 187 species of woodland birds are recorded for the Glenelg Hopkins CMA region but generally speaking I would be lucky to find 20 -30 species on most properties I visit. The good news is we can change that!
The types of birds we see returning to these revegetated environments are species such as the White-naped Honeyeaters, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Brown Thornbills and Superb Fairy-wrens.
Species such as the Striated Pardalote and Blue-winged Parrots are more likely to use remnant vegetation. These species prefer mature trees for a variety of reasons; the often have hollows, provide a canopy with high density canopy cover, great height and have mature well established bark that accommodate beneficial insects colonies. You may have noticed that we often include and design new native shelter belts in and around mature trees remaining on the farm. This way we capture results for a more diverse range of birds and other wildlife such as bats, bush rats and bandicoots.
We have so much to protect and appreciate in our region and we need your help to make it happen. There are many funding opportunities available to help bring your project dreams to life. If you have a little block and a big dream or a big farm and a landscape scale project we would love to work with you.