Natural tenacity brings biodiversity to Bellata

Bellata farmers John and Janey Duncombe haven’t let the drought stop the success of their revegetation project on “Fairview”. In fact, the 27-hectare site has seen a high success rate of establishment in the over 700 seedlings planted to date. The project is not only helping native trees and shrubs to re-establish, but with the assistance of recent rain, its reinvigorating native grassland adjacent to a major watercourse on the property.

The key to John’s success has been good preparation and maintenance. John has installed an irrigation system for the planting and has done a magnificent job in keeping the trees going throughout the drought. The project on completion will have installed 1.2 kilometres of fencing, 4.8 kilometres of dripper line for watering and over 1,000 seedlings, making the project one of the largest revegetation sites in the district. Weed control is also a targeted activity, and after this drought, he’s sure to see some species he hasn’t seen for some time.

John Duncombe with his trees

John Duncombe with his trees that were planted in 2018.

North West Local Land Services project officer Keith Walker said, “the Fairview revegetation project has been one of the most successful I’ve seen and adds to the success of other local landholders in implementing natural resource management improvements across the area. The project will buffer a watercourse and assist with maintenance of groundcover and water quality. There will be an increase in biodiversity across the sparse cropping landscape through the planting of a variety of native trees and shrubs and with that will come other native species such as birds and invertebrates. So, there are a lot of wins coming out of this project”.

John continues to learn things as the project unfolds, “at least we got 95% success rate on 720 trees in the worst drought ever. We have to wait for the other benefits” he said. Those ecosystem service benefits will come in time with the Duncombe’s goal to create a more biodiverse landscape to include woodland bird and beneficial insect habitats that will complement their agricultural enterprise.

Trees planted - Natural tenacity

Trees that were planted in 2018 with irrigation drippers.

This project was supported by North West Local Land Services through funding from Catchment Action NSW. Opportunities for revegetation funding are currently available for regent honeyeater habitat and Brigalow Woodlands through the Natural Resource Management Team at North West Local Land Services.

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