Last Friday Angela and I had the absolute pleasure of hosting a visit to Monjebup North and Red Moort by Year 12 Geography students from Denmark Senior High School.
The presence of Noongar elder Carol Petterson added another whole dimension to the day. Teacher Anthony Ritchie was extraordinarily well organised, priming us with comprehensive background notes on topics they'd be wanting to cover.
The students were as engaged as any visitors we've ever had – the incisive questions on restoration in particular came thick and fast. And their conduct was impeccable.
We moved progressively through the restoration, starting with last year's direct-seeding where we discussed restoration design and implementation, and finishing in the longest-established part of the site, now seven years old, where we discussed monitoring and the outcomes of the restoration effort to date.
Carol all the while contributed a cultural perspective on the landscape and its flora and fauna. Our resident fauna cooperated beautifully. Western Whipbirds called all around us, and in a nest box located close by our lunch stop not one, but two Pygmy Possums were in residence, allowing Angela to provide the students a chance to get up close and personal with just one of the special critters now abundant in what not so long ago was barren wheatfield.
The Malleefowl that has so conveniently built a nest mound right next to one of our access tracks wasn't around, but has been recently active, with a litter trail of leaves extending 25 metres from the mound.
Leaving Monjebup we stopped in briefly to look at the Field Station that's materialising so quickly at Red Moort, explaining its purpose and the benefits we expect to flow from it when completed later this year. One by one, each of the students personally thanked us – a lovely touch. We said our goodbyes and Angela and I drove home buoyed by optimism that the future will be in very good hands.