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Guyra neighbours notice benefits of trees on farms

Landholders in the Bald Blair region near Guyra have been building on the benefits of trees on farms to boost productivity and profitability, while also increasing biodiversity and habitat for threatened species.

Neighbours Richard and Prue Post, Sam and Kirsty White, and Frank and Pip White, have all launched into strategically planned tree planting projects with support from the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Trees on Farms program.

Frank and Pip White are planting a total area of almost eight hectares that will eventually provide much needed shade and shelter for livestock.

“I heard about the Trees on Farms program while I was doing a Farm Planning course with Northern Tablelands Local Land Services. Looking at the farm plan maps, it was clear to see where there was a need for more native vegetation on the property,” said Pip.

“In the past we had planted mostly along fence lines, but this time we’ve fenced off a large area on a rocky ridge, to create a denser area of native trees and shrubs that we hope will give the seedlings better protection from the elements.”

The extreme heat of the summer just past has confirmed for Pip and Frank White that planting more trees on their property is a good idea.

“The cattle and sheep have definitely been looking for shade, and when you see how long stock are spending under the trees on these very hot days, planting more shade is clearly the right decision,” said Pip.

Shade and shelter are also a priority for Richard and Prue Post.

“Some of the paddocks are very exposed, and we’re hoping the new tree lines we’re putting in will give better protection to our soils and pastures as well as the stock,” said Prue.

“We needed to do some fencing, so adding in tree plantings to create a wind break was a sensible idea. We made some repairs to the old fence line which we left intact, and then added the new fence to protect the strip of vegetation.”

“The trees and shrubs, along with the double line of fencing form an excellent barrier to stop stock straying between paddocks, and that also improves biosecurity,” said Prue.

Next door Kirsty and Sam White have just planted more than 600 new seedlings.

“If you drive past Bald Blair, it’s obvious that we need more trees,” said Kirsty, “There’s a place called the Pinnacle at the back of the property, and this planting will provide linking corridors for the native birds and animals that we love to see on the property.”

“There’s also a point in the landscape where you can see the linkages that are now emerging between our neighbouring properties, and it’s very inspiring,” said Kirsty.

Senior Land Services officer with Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, Iestyn Taylor, says the benefits of revegetation are even greater when neighbouring properties are extending and connecting areas of native vegetation.

“The cumulative effect of increased tree cover and natural vegetation really start to add up to a significant change in the landscape which should help both agriculture and the environment better cope with extreme weather events,” said Iestyn.

Pip and Frank White, Prue and Richard Post, and Kirsty and Sam White, have all praised Iestyn for his assistance with their revegetation projects.

“The advice and information Iestyn gave us was very valuable,” said Richard Post, a sentiment echoed by his neighbours.

“By far the most helpful aspect of the Trees on Farms program is the expertise and experience of Local Land Services staff like Iestyn,” said Pip White. “He gave us very good advice on the best species to plant and the most effective planting techniques for our high and exposed country.”

“Iestyn was absolutely brilliant,” said Kirsty White. “Working with Local Land Services made it much easier to plan and organise our projects, and we really appreciate his support.”

For more information about the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Trees on Farms program, contact Iestyn Taylor on 02 6770 2008.

Media contact: Annabelle Monie: 0429 626 326