Junee landowners get on board Landcare movement for native regeneration

The soldier-like lines of trees that typify Junee’s farming landscape may be getting a face lift. 

Murrimbidgee Landcare have secured funding to run a program on 10 farms in the region, to show landholders how regeneration can benefit their properties as well as create habitats for endangered species. 

Project officer Nicole Maher said the initiative will look to reverse some of the damage done by extensive clearing for cropping. 

“We’ll establish demonstration sites where we’ll have workshops and field days to show how planting not only trees but shrubs and an under-story create habitat and provide benefits for surrounding paddocks,” Ms Maher said. 

While the program won’t target any specific species, building up shrubbery on farms would provide homes for the swiss and superb parrot populations as well as squirrel and sugar gliders. 

Ms Maher said the group have felt a resurgence of interest in natural resource management in Junee following a huge cross-property project with 70 landholders, and the momentum to build.

“For a lot of those involved their parents may have been in Landcare and they dropped off, but this has gotten them back into it and engaged. 

We’ve really felt a growth in enthusiasm among farmers for natural resource management

Nicole Maher, Murumbidgee Landcare project manager

Illabo farmer John Hopkins has done extensive native regeneration work on his property.

He said although building up shrubbery and fencing off tree-lines has increased habitat for vermin like foxes, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

“We’ve now got native birds preying on insects we don’t want,” he said.

He agrees the movement is growing. 

“It’s basically our office, it’s where we work, he said.

“Those that get started on native regeneration can’t stop, it’s addictive.

“We’re getting birds now in the region that have never been here before, finches and cuckoos.” 

Former member for Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson announced a $100,000 grant for the program last week through the government’s Restoration and Rehabilitation Grant Program.

The first workshop will be held in late 2017 or early 2018.