Eurardy Reserve is a special place, with some 700 plant species on the reserve, including a number of threatened, priority-listed and locally endemic species. It's a haven of floristic diversity and spectacular scenery coloured by the oranges, blues and reds of native wildflowers.
However there are parts of Eurardy that are missing this special aspect. There are cleared patches, a legacy of Eurardy’s agricultural history, that have seen little to no natural regeneration for decades. This week Bush Heritage took the first steps towards restoring those patches back to the biodiverse areas they once were.
We brought together some of the foremost experts on restoration and revegetation in Australia. With the help of the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council the event was opened to the public and Eurardy was abuzz with a crowd of people all with an interest in the restoration of native vegetation.
The day began with a trip to a local property to see some revegetation in action. Land owner Margi Weir graciously showed us her patch and explained some of the issues and lessons learned as part of her and her partner’s work.
This was followed by some exceptional presentations at Eurardy outlining the practicalities and current research status of environmental restoration work. We finished the day with a tour of Eurardy Reserve to highlight the scale of and challenges implicit in restoring several large cleared areas.
The tour also took us through some of the spectacular areas of intact vegetation for which Eurardy is so well known, highlighting why this work is so worthwhile. In this restoration we have the potential for some major conservation wins!
On the second day the real work began. With the help of our invited experts, as well as our Bush Heritage revegetation experts, Angela Sanders and Simon Smale, we knuckled down to discuss how best to approach revegetation at Eurardy.
As well as considering important aspects such as, how to trial various methods and how best to monitor what's most successful, the event has also opened the door to partnerships with academic institutions for research. Hopefully in the not too distant future we can make Eurardy a hub for restoration research and an example to be emulated for those interested in revegetation in challenging areas.