Locals visit success-story property, learning more about koala habitat health

We’re still feeling energised from our recent Keep Calm, Grow Trees for Koala Habitat Health event in Peak Crossing last weekend.

Koala event at Peak Crossing

Peak Crossing This event brought together 50 people to the beautiful farm and Land for Wildlife property of Tony and Alison.

Guests enjoyed interesting presenters, asked questions, toured the planting area, mingled with others and were treated to a beautiful afternoon tea.

Indigo Kuss-Patterson of Healthy Land and Water talked about the regeneration project at the property.

Indigo Kuss-PattersonIt’s a great success story and Indigo said you can’t always expect such amazing outcomes so quickly. It’s excellent to see what can be achieved, with this property setting the bar very high.

With Healthy Land and Water, Tony and Alison planted 1500 trees about three years ago, to create a koala refuge, dedicating 4ha to it.

It’s a much needed addition to a few very beautiful old gums that have been there for 100s of years.

The Flinders Peak area has been designated as one of the primary intact habitats for koalas, becoming even more crucial following the 2019 fires.

To build up the corridor, they have planted a range of eucalypts, she-oaks and lomandras.

BaDL president Chris urged people to find a section of their property they can dedicate for conservation. Tony and Alison have been keen to encourage other landholders, this event being a great way to do that.

Andrew WallaceAndrew Wallace of Kingfisher Nursery was one of the presenters. He spoke about his concern for plant and planting knowledge held by experienced people, which is too often not being recorded and passed on, being lost.

Andrew also highlighted the importance of landholders taking photos of plantings at different stages, naming sections of the property and recognising milestones. This, he pointed out, was also helpful when applying for grants.

He also brought along his most recommend literature for restoration and regeneration planting, for guests to flick through and take note of (see end of this article).

Dennis Galloway and DannyWe were fortunate to have Dennis Galloway from Healthy Land and Water and his super-dog Danny come to the rescue, filling in last minute for our scheduled detection-dog presenter who was unfortunately unwell.

It was a treat to have Dennis here, not only for his dog training and handling skills, but he was one of the key people who set up the planting with Tony and Alison at the beginning. Dennis said it was great to return again and see the strong growth of the planting.

Dennis talked about the efforts that go into training a sniffer dog. He also provided a great demonstration of Danny seeking out the hidden koala scat (pictured below).

Dennis Galloway watching Danny as he seeks the hidden koala scat

Dr Andrew Hoskins and Dr Justine Murray

We also had insightful presentations from CSIRO’s Dr Andrew Hoskins and Dr Justine Murrary (both pictured right).

Even though their drone couldn’t be launched due to proximity to Amberley airbase, Andrew and Justine showed us how they are used in conjunction with other methods to record koala movements for the National Koala Management Program.

Andrew highlighted the important input from citizen scientists who are recording sightings on apps such as Koala Spotter, QWildlife and iNaturalist.

This event also sees our new Keep Calm, Grow Trees coordinator Jo D taking on the role to keep everything running smoothly. Her guided breathing and mindfulness was a refreshing way to start, thanks to Jo also being an experienced yoga instructor.

Engaging and experienced speakers gave a well-rounded picture of land management with koalas as the focus but with benefits for all.

These events always feature the important element of casual networking and connection over a cuppa (as pictured below). Thanks to Kalbar Bakery for the yummy treats that were thoroughly enjoyed.

Networking at Keep Calm, Grow Trees

Funding for this project is through Healthy Land & Water with the Federal Government under the Koala Habitat Restoration and Protection Project. This BaDL event was supported by Healthy Land & Water, through funding received from the Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

The next Keep Calm, Grow Trees event will be in August. More details about that online soon!


More pictures below:

Jo with DannyBaDL’s Keep Calm, Grow Trees Coordinator, Jo D, with Danny.

BaDL President ChrisBaDL President Chris encouraging questions and further involvement with Landcare.

Touring Peak Crossing propertyTouring the Peak Crossing property.

Indigo at Peak CrossingHealthy Land and Water’s Indigo Kuss-Patterson giving a guided tour and answering questions.

DannyDanny keeping his eyes on the prize (the ball)

Enjoying discussion on a sunny afternoon at Keep Calm, Grow Trees

recommended plant and revegetation booksAndrew Wallace’s recommended book “essentials”

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