Wayne Hamblin’s property ‘Big Tree’, certainly lives up to its name.
In 2006, Wayne, a self-confessed lover of trees, worked with Greenfleet to plant a native forest of 10,000 trees over 14 hectares of his property in Matong in Southern New South Wales.
The project aimed to improve the biodiversity of the large sheep and cropping farm, while stabilising erosion of the property’s creek, protecting livestock from the elements and rescuing top soil loss from high winds.
“We understood the value of planting trees on our property, but didn’t have the funds to do it ourselves at the time. We learnt about Greenfleet’s work, and together we planted trees to provide shelter and halt erosion,” Wayne explains.
Despite being ravaged by nature’s droughts and flooding rains, Greenfleet’s planting achieved an 82 per cent survival rate on the property, which foresters say is an excellent result considering the terribly dry conditions of the time.
Just nine years later, the native bushland growing around the creek has minimised further erosion, and Wayne says the area is “just magic”.
Since working with Greenfleet, Wayne has planted 60,000 more trees along the property’s corridors and fence lines as windbreaks, preventing the loss of topsoil, retaining ground moisture and encouraging native birdlife.
International research has found shelter belts can improve crop yields by 25 per cent, and reduce livestock losses by as much as 50 per cent1, and Wayne says he’s noticed the difference all the trees make to his property.
“The trees keep the ground cool and the dust at bay, I’m no longer losing lambs, the birdlife is back and my crops grow better because they are sheltered from hot winds,” he explains.
“I see this as an investment in green infrastructure that will add long-term value to my land.”
1 Source: The Economic Benefits of Native Shelter Belts Report 01/14 by the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network