Farmers embracing the benefits of natural bushland
16 January 2017
Landholders on the Northern Tablelands are capitalising on the benefits of native vegetation, making significant investments in replanting and preserving trees and shrubs to boost on farm productivity.
The latest statistics collected through Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, compiling data from the last three years of the Trees on Farms and Biolinks projects, show over 100,000 native, locally endemic seedlings have been planted on farm, across a total of 950 hectares of land.
A further 642 hectares of existing remnant vegetation have been preserved and protected, through weed and feral pest management and by fencing these areas off to protect against overgrazing by livestock.
“There are many properties across this region with an excellent balance between areas of native vegetation and cleared country for farming. It’s clear that many farmers recognise the production benefits of healthy natural bushland, such as shelter for stock and pastures, improved water quality, and habitat for natural predators that keep pests in check,” said Senior Land Services Officer, Iestyn Taylor.
“The combined outcomes of the Trees on Farms and Biolinks projects are demonstrating a success story on the Northern Tablelands.”
The figures also show that a wide range of producers from large to small are embracing the benefits of native vegetation signalling a greater understanding that native vegetation is good for agricultural production.
“In the first two years that we ran the Trees on Farms project, we received a combined total of 165 expressions of interest (EOIs) from landholders. Last year we had a big jump in the number of applications, with a total of 210 EOIs in 2016,” reported Iestyn.
“We currently have Trees on Farms projects underway on more than 60 properties, with many more projects to commence in coming months.”
“It’s also important to note that Northern Tablelands Local Land Services deliver funds from both the Australian and NSW Governments for these projects. These projects put money into local businesses such as nurseries and tree planting contractors and support the economy of the local community.”
“It’s extremely encouraging to see so many farmers on the Northern Tablelands investing in the long term sustainability of their agriculture enterprises and improving the management of natural resources. We look forward to continuing to work with landholders in 2017 on projects that will provide ongoing benefits to both agriculture and the environment,” concluded Iestyn.
Media contact: Annabelle Monie 0429 626 326, 02 6720 8317