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Grants offer more than just funding

Getting involved in a Local Land Services incentive project has been an inspiring and overwhelmingly positive experience for Rylstone landholder Sylvana Thompson.

A new round of funding is currently on offer to support resilient and productive landholders, landscapes and communities. Applications close on Friday 26 August for projects that restore and protect riparian areas, remnant bushland and native grasslands, and enhance habitat for threatened species.

Sylvana and Ken Thompson successfully applied for a grant last year through Local Land Services to fence off a series of springs on their Rylstone property, Ridgewood.

“We wanted to protect this spring fed, soft gully on our property. It’s a beautiful place but we were concerned that livestock were damaging the area,” said Sylvana.

“We received funding to fence off 700 metres on both sides along the riparian zone to exclude stock, along with assistance to install alternative watering points.”

“It’s made a difference for native species but it’s also made farm management much easier. The riparian zone is in the middle of the property, so now the stock can be moved easily along the fence lines on either side, straight into the yards with less stress for the animals and for us.”

In fact the Thompsons were so enthusiastic about the project they decided to use their own resources to extend the fenced area beyond the original grant application.

“We were given so much good advice and information it really inspired us to keep going and the results have been fantastic.”

“The fencing uses plain wire so that native animals can move through the fence without injury. It’s too narrow for stock, but smaller native animals can slip through without getting caught on barbwire.”

“We have turned the riparian zone into a conservation area and we now have a family of wallabies living on the site. We’re planning on establishing a farm stay business to cater for people with disabilities, so this reserve will provide a beautiful retreat for our visitors.”

“Also as part of the riparian enhancement project I did a Farm Planning course with Local Land Services which was a wonderful learning experience with other like minded people.”

“The farm plan we developed and the property maps provided through the course, save us so much time, particularly when people come on to the property to do weed control and other jobs.”

“The amount of learning and information we have acquired through this process has probably been the most valuable part of the grant project.”

“I would say to other landholders interested in better managing their properties, don’t hesitate to apply for a grant, because the support from Local Land Services is excellent.”

The 2016 Central Tablelands Local Land Services Funding and Grants Program offers support to farmers, landholders, and community groups across the Central Tablelands.

Funding will be targeted towards remnant woodland conservation, native grasslands and revegetation activities, property planning, groundcover management, the protection of threatened species, and the restoration and protection of creeks and rivers, including the establishment of confined stock feeding areas to protect groundcover during deteriorating seasonal conditions.

The program is supported through funding from the Australian Governments National Landcare Programme and Catchment Action NSW. Applications close on Friday 26 August.

For more information contact Clayton Miller at Central Tablelands Local Land Services on phone: 02 6333 2314 or email Clayton Miller.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370