Skip to content

Introducing Sanstrom

Our latest Acquisition on Dja Dja Wurrung Country, Central Victoria.
Published 08 Apr 2024

The purchase of Sanstrom represents a significant step in our ability to reconnect remnant forest in a landscape that has been largely cleared. Reconnection is one of our key pillars under the Priority Landscapes framework we use to assess potential acquisitions. The reserve connects our J.C Griffin and John Douglas Reserves, creating a natural corridor for species to move through.

“We've been looking at this property for years,” says Healthy Landscape Manager, Tegan Hibberson. “And it is just soul tingling excitement now we’ve secured it, because it means two reserves aren't working in isolation anymore. We're taking down the fences right in the middle, and they become a much more impactful 414 hectares as opposed to working on much smaller scales.”

The purchase is part of a broader push to connect more bushland in the Kara Kara-Wedderburn landscape where historical land clearing has devastated much of the habitat.

On a map, it’s easy to see why Sanstrom is an important part of the puzzle.

“If you look at satellite imagery of Victoria, it is a total mosaic, like a fragmented patchwork of different land uses” says Tegan. “In this area in particular, we're incredibly lucky to have a really strong cohort of other conservation organisations, individuals and community groups that are all striving for connected landscapes.”

Tree hollows on Sanstrom are vital for many species of birds and marsupials. Photo: Rowan Mott.

The reserve itself is made up of largely intact woodlands. Namely, three important vegetation structures that have been left largely untouched - Box Ironbark woodlands, heathy woodlands, and grassy woodlands.

These woodlands are home to threatened bird species such as Black Chinned Honeyeater and Painted Button Quail, and the team will likely find hollow-dependent species like Barking Owls, Brush-tailed Phascogales and Sugar Gliders

The two reserves on either side of Sanstrom are home to multiple critically endangered orchids, so the team will eagerly search the property in spring for further discoveries.

So, what’s next? In Tegan’s words, “We need to get out there and learn!”

Alongside Djaara, the Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Custodians, the plan is to assess the property from an ecological and cultural standpoint.

“The very first step is going to be getting Djaara out on country. They haven't had access to this property, so it's about re-learning Country and seeing what it needs - listening to what Country is telling us all,” says Tegan.

Tegan stresses that one of the most vital parts of the process is to get a detailed baseline of what is on the reserve.

“We’ve just secured about 159 hectares of remnant bushland,” she says. “In these landscapes, and in this state, that is very rare…we have got this property in perpetuity,” she says. “It's not about rushing it, it's about making really good, strategic, smart decisions that are going to be the best for the property.”

Long-leaf Box flowers on Sanstrom. Photo: Rowan Mott.
{{itemsInCart}} Items - {{formatCurrency(grandTotal)}}