Gunningbar, a yurt farm just north of Goulburn in NSW, had been ‘wall to wall’ Serrated Tussock for decades when landowners Mike and Judith Shepherd approached Greenfleet in 2006.
The invasive weed was spreading to neighbouring properties and the threat of council fines loomed large.
After acquiring a grant from the local council to address the tussock plague, the Shepherds worked with Greenfleet to plant an 20.5ha site with native species. Follow up plantings were carried out in 2008 and 2011 to replace trees that hadn’t survived harsh drought
Today, eight metre high Black Sallee (Eucalyptus stellulata), Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora), White Gum (Eucalyptus rossii), and Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii) trees provide shade and shelter for swamp wallabies and kangaroos. Woodland birds, especially Superb Fairy Wrens, Kookaburras and White Plumed Honeyeaters are making their homes in the forest, which, as it matures also acts as a carbon sink.
While the land is not tussock free (it has been sprayed since), the forest has stopped the spread of the noxious weed to neighbouring properties – and the threat of legal action from council has disappeared.
“Council is happy that we took action, and the new native forest has improved our property,” Judith says.
“As our business depends on our land for tourism, the investment in trees has been a good one. The forest features a variety of species - not just a monoculture – which makes the area more appealing for our guests who come to bushwalk.”
With Greenfleet’s help, the Shepherds have protected their asset, reduced their risk and enhanced the local environment for customers who come to stay at Gunningbar.