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Farmers get special invite to Revegetation Conference field trip

Landholders on the Northern Tablelands are invited to take part in a Restore, Regenerate, Revegetate Conference field excursion looking at the history and the latest innovations in farm revegetation.

The field excursion to Gordon and Wendy William’s property ‘Eastlake’ on Wednesday 8 February will be part of the Restore Regenerate Revegetate Conference coming up in Armidale.

The Conference hosted by UNE is expected to attract hundreds of delegates from across Australia to discuss critical questions about restoring ecological processes, ecosystems and landscapes in a changing world.

However it’s not just an event for researchers according to Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Team Leader for Sustainable Agriculture, Lauren Wilson.

“The conference is bringing some of the country’s leading experts in ecological restoration and landscape repair to Armidale. Northern Tablelands Local Land Services has been working with the UNE organisers to ensure local landholders can be part of this ground breaking event as they are often the experts at knowing how to successfully establish native plants back on farm,” said Ms Wilson.

“We are supporting the field excursion to ‘Eastlake’ so that farmers in our region can mingle with the scientific experts while they inspect the impressive work undertaken at the grass roots level by Gordon and Wendy Williams over the last 30 years.”

Gordon Williams will also be a keynote speaker at the Conference with a presentation on ‘Cost Effective Revegetation and Restoration of Biodiversity’.

“The key points we have followed are good planning, thorough ground preparation, correct species selection, timing and planting techniques on each site, as well as post planting weed control,” explained Gordon Williams.

“Importantly, our revegetation program is integrated into our ongoing whole farm plan so that we can spread the costs and risks from year to year.”

Fellow farmers will have the opportunity to ask Gordon directly about revegetation and the real benefits he has achieved in farm productivity and profitability.

“If you are going to convince more farmers to invest in increased biodiversity, you have to show good empirical evidence that it is actually beneficial. It can’t just be a feel good idea, there has to be hard data on the benefits, and it’s encouraging to see the quality research that is starting to emerge on this issue,” said Gordon.

The mid-conference field excursion to ‘Eastlake’ will highlight recent research into revegetation establishment and will visit some of the areas most affected by ‘New England Dieback’ in the 70’s and 80’s. There will also be a brief stopover at Dangars Lagoon, part of the ‘Upland Wetlands’ Threatened Ecological Community.

Local farmers can attend the ‘Eastlake’ field excursion free of charge thanks to support from Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, however places are strictly capped at no more than 80 people.

To avoid disappointment registration is essential. RSVP to Phoebe Haslett at Local Land Services on 02 6770 2009.

Landholders are also very welcome to register online for further Restore, Regenerate, Revegetate Conference sessions.

Media contact:  Annabelle Monie 0429 626 326