Exciting news – last week we became the proud owners of an as-yet-unnamed 52 hectare patch of bush in the middle of our Kara Kara-Wedderburn priority landscape in North Central Victoria. The property is near our existing John Colahan Griffin Reserve.
Under the watchful eye of a Striated Pardalote and the Pink Lady Fingers Orchid, some local conservation luminaries and I gathered to celebrate the establishment of the new reserve with a glass of bubbly and a toast.
Paul Foreman was responsible for championing Bush Heritage’s focus on this incredible area when he was one of Bush Heritage’s leading ecologists some 10 years ago. He was closely involved when we bought JC Griffin Reserve in 2011. These days, while running his own ecological consultancy firm, Paul still takes a keen interest in this area. He believes, as do Bush Heritage and Trust for Nature, that this is one of Victoria's most biodiverse areas.
I’m very happy with the new property as it's in very good condition, protects large numbers of threatened orchids and has a good stand of Buloke trees, which are increasingly rare in Central Victoria. As a land manager, I’m particularly pleased to have secured a block of bush that doesn't need a lot of management to preserve the outstanding conservation values present. Apart from a few nettles and one stand of Prickly Pear Cactus, it has no weeds to speak of. Bush Heritage volunteer John Muchan has already been treating the Prickly Pear, so that problem is solved!
The new reserve is part of a wider landscape effort in the region between St Arnaud and Wedderburn where Bush Heritage is aiming to restore natural values so that all native plants and animals there can recover from decades of threat impacts.