Avoca lies within the traditional country of the Wiradjuri people.
Prior to purchase by Greenfleet in March 2013, the property was used for cropping (mostly wheat and canola) and sheep production with around 500 hectares of poorer soils left as remnant vegetation.
The surrounding region has been extensively cleared for cropping and grazing, with remaining native vegetation in a highly fragmented state. Adjacent to the property is the Buddigower State Forest due to become part of the nearby Buddigower Nature Reserve, an area of significance for its biological values:
It is one of only three NSW reserves containing the critically endangered ecological community “Mallee and Mallee-Broombush dominated woodland and shrubland, lacking Triodia, in the NSW South Western Slopes Bioregion” listed under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW). It is situated within a bioregion very poorly represented in conservation areas. 26 animal species listed as endangered or vulnerable under the TSC Act have been recorded within the reserve.
The objectives of the Greenfleet biodiverse reforestation project at Avoca are to capture carbon emissions whilst also protecting and conserving the natural values of the region.
The Greenfleet forest will extend the biological values of the Buddigower Nature Reserve adding a further 1,700 hectares of protected habitat through restoration of the pre-clearing vegetation communities.
In time the fauna at Avoca will be the same or similar to that of the adjacent Reserve where the fauna is well known, having been a regular bird banding site for many years.
Five amphibians, nine reptiles, approximately 165 birds, nine native and seven introduced mammals have been recorded at the nature reserves. Twenty-six animal species listed as endangered or vulnerable under the TSC Act.
Only the shy heathwren, varied sittella and brown treecreeper are considered resident at the reserve, but the reserve and Avoca have food resources useful for birds moving through the area, including threatened species (e.g. swift parrots on winter migration). The number of threatened birds reflects the high degree of vegetation clearance in the region and the vulnerability of these species to the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation (Traill & Duncan 2000).
The site underwent preparation (spraying) and the seeding occurred in the winter months in 2013. Only 18 months later, most of the seeds had already germinated and grown into healthy native saplings, some of them reaching over 1.5m in height!
- The revegetation project will 45 different native species sown. Here is a selection of the species sown: Acacia paradoxa
- Acacia doratoxylon
- Brachychiton populneus
- Cassinia laevis
- Eucalyptus dumosa
- Eucalyptus viridis
- Melaleuca uncinata