Farmers and landholders, Grants, Stories

Understanding soil and vegetation changes at Cockatoo Hills

On a recent field trip with Kerry Bridle from UTAS, NRM South staff member Magali Wright and a landholder undertook surveys to support the development of a management plan for a magnificent property near Bronte Park where, with new ownership, the focus of management has switched to conservation. The project is collecting baseline soil and vegetation data for a range of sites across the property from sheep camps in pasture and under woodlands, grasslands with limited grazing and wetter areas dominated by sphagnum embedded with native herbs including orchids. To date the property, while clearly containing important natural values, has very little survey data on which to base long-term conservation management decisions.  The data collected this spring will be used by UTAS students to develop management plans for different aspects of the property, and will be combined to provide the owners (the Highland Conservation Trust) with the information they need to inform their longer term management. The Highland Conservation Trust are working to maintain the property’s cultural landscapes which include Highland Poa grasslands that would have been created through Aboriginal firing practices and then maintained by graziers. On arrival to the property, it was obvious the family had been hard at work controlling broom and thistles that have established in areas of disturbance such as the sheep camps and dam walls. This weed control and the development of the management plan form part of a project supported by NRM South’s Natural Inspired Grants. Visiting echidna rubus chilogottis sp. Grazed grassland

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