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Bathurst farmers restore precious woodland habitat

Landholders Graeme and Wendy Ross are restoring precious woodland habitat and native grasslands on their property, Willowglen, at Bathurst.

The Ross family have fenced off more than 125 hectares of remnant vegetation to enhance ground cover and promote the regeneration of native plant species, returning the landscape to its natural state.

This ambitious project received a helping hand last year from the Commonwealth Government’s Green Army Program, delivered through Skillset, with participants planting two thousand native seedlings on the site including Yellow box, Apple box, Blakely’s red gum, Sheoaks and Silver wattle.

“They did a very good job helping us out with fencing and with planting, and they seemed to enjoy themselves even during some particularly rough weather conditions,” said Graeme.

Graeme and Wendy have also planted another 3000 seedlings to complete the project. Prior to the project they had collected seed from red box and yellow box eucalypts and propagated several thousand seedlings, which were then used in the new plantings.

The new vegetation has been strategically located to enhance landscape connectivity and wildlife habitat, and also to provide shade and shelter for livestock.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services supplied additional native tube stock and tree guards for the site and also facilitated funding to pay for fencing the site and the installation of a watering point for livestock in the new paddock.  

“Local Land Services is encouraging landholders to increase vegetation connectivity in the landscape and to improve groundcover through sustainable grazing practices, so it’s a pleasure working with farmers like Graeme and Wendy,” said Land Services Officer, Allan Wray.

“They have already done a lot of work on their property that demonstrates how farm productivity and biodiversity can go hand in and hand. This latest project is a great example of well planned and practical revegetation and farm management.”

Graeme and Wendy Ross will manage the new project area to reduce grazing pressure during critical times, particularly during dry spells and following rain events, to ensure native plants have the opportunity to flower and set seed.

“We have been working to improve ground cover on the farm and we also saw this project as a good opportunity to get better control of stock movement by dividing our paddocks,” said Graeme.

“More control over grazing access will give native plant diversity greater opportunity to survive and regenerate. The more diversity you have, the healthier the landscape, and we like to see the native plants and animals in the bush, it creates a very appealing environment.”

Bush rock, dead standing and fallen timber will also be maintained across the site to provide important habitat. The area will be strategically grazed to maximise groundcover and plain wire has been used in fences to allow native animals to move through the landscape without injury.

For more information about the benefits of sustainable land management and how Local Land Services can assist in planning and implementing improved management practices that can both protect the environment and improve productivity, phone Allan Wray on 02 6333 2318 or email:

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439 608370