On the 26th of April 2022, our Executive Officer, Elly Pratt, headed out to Monarto to attend the Farm Forestry Landcare Network field day. This event was supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, National Landcare Program, Coorong Tatiara Local Action Plan and Coorong District Council.
Around 25 attendees heard from Zoe Starkey, the local Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator and Ian Filmer from the Farm Forestry Landcare Network, a retired farmer with many years of experience at Tintinara in the Upper South East. It was great to hear about Ian’s own experience in establishing trees on his property, especially on once-barren sandhills.
Talks were also given by Craig Neumann, formally a Scientific Officer for Landscapes and Biodiversity Services, Department of Environment and Water and Trevor Hobbs, Senior Ecologist for the Department.
Craig then led a tour of the surrounding plantations, trialling many species of tree for their suitability for forestry in the South Australian conditions. He outlined the advantages and disadvantages of each species in establishing on-farm shelter belts, and eventually harvesting these trees for timber and/or oil.
This highlighted the different approaches to conservation and plantings that can be taken by community Landcare groups and landholders, and proved to be a very interesting lesson in local tree species and their many uses in land management.
To learn more about the Farm Forestry Landcare Network, head to the Coorong District Council website to view a series of videos outlining the innovative work that they do.