On a very wet Saturday on the 8th October, 21 Serpentine Jarrahdale land owners took part in the Healthy Habitats Bus Tour 2016 of 3 Healthy Habitats properties. Amongst the group were Healthy Habitats members, Councillors from the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, representatives from Landcare SJ and land owners interested in bushland management.
The first site was on Henderson Rd in Serpentine.
Karen, a ‘level 2’ member has created areas of native vegetation on her property which was literally a blank canvas after many years of cattle grazing. The group looked at 600m of the Hopeland drain that had been fenced and revegetated; and a constructed and revegetated wetland.
The result is a combination of increased habitat and water retention combined with nutrient-stripping and improved water quality.
In addition, the land owners had created a wind break on the eastern boundary of the property, a shelter from strong winds and also a wildlife corridor that included timber tree species and native understorey to attract birds and other wildlife.
Next stop was another Serpentine property on Wattle road
15 hectares of significant bushland containing Threatened Ecological Communities.
Kim, Phil and their family are new members to Healthy Habitats and have already launched into a project to control the veldt grass which is well-established and impacting understorey species of the native plant communities.
Funding for the weed control has been received from the Healthy Habitats program and further support from the National Landcare Programme through the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s Community Environment Grants.
The land owners expressed to the group the steep learning curve that they are on, including managing weeds in the long term to continue to improve the health of their bushland.
Lastly, the group travelled to Keysbrook where Jen and Sam have 23 hectares of bushland throughout a 50ha beef property.
An area atop a granite hill has been fenced and the owners have created a walk track which allowed the group to take a stroll and enjoy the beautiful flowering species, guided by Dr Penny Hollick, Botanist at the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale.
All of the on-ground activities looked at on the bus tour have been possible as a result of environmental grants. This illustrates the benefits of being part of the Landcare network and participating in programs such as Healthy Habitats.
The tour finished in style, with a picnic lunch overlooking an area of ‘lake’ on the Myara brook which runs through the property. What a lovely way to end the day! Good food, good company and a cracker view.