Wingecarribee Shire Council is encouraging residents and landholders to join a Council-led private land conservation initiative in the wake of the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires.
Council’s Environment Officer Margot Law explained how Highlanders could help restore the Shire’s native habitat.
“Last year over 64,000 hectares of our Shire’s bushland was burnt in the catastrophic bushfires,” she said.
“This pristine bushland was home to some of the most unique and diverse flora and fauna in the country.”
Margot said that while the bushfires had caused widespread destruction the outlook remains positive.
“Our natural environment is remarkably resilient and we’re already seeing encouraging signs of regeneration,” she said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t give it a collective helping hand.”
Margot suggested residents wanting to help restore native bushland on their land could consider joining one of two Council-led private land conservation programs.
“We have two very different, yet complementary programs open to our Shire’s residents,” she said. “We feel they’ll be particularly welcomed by our bushfire-affected home owners and landholders.”
Council’s two private land conservation initiatives include the Land for Wildlife and Habitat for Wildlife programs.
“The Land for Wildlife program is aimed at rural landholders with at least half a hectare of bushland that was burnt in the bushfires,” Margot said.
Under the Land for Wildlife program participants will receive a free property visit and report from an expert ecologist. Eligible participants will also have access to a range of mapping products, receive assistance with grant applications, signage and a $50 native plant voucher.
“Our Habitat for Wildlife program on the other hand is designed for residents of our towns and villages who lost their gardens to the fires.”
Eligible Habitat for Wildlife participants will also receive a native plant voucher, backyard planting guide, sign and regular e-newsletter.
Margot said the two schemes catered to bushfire-affected property and landowners regardless of their land size.
“It doesn’t matter if you live on a small residential block or large bushland acreage,” she said. “Both programs are designed to help bushfire-affected land continue to heal and encourage native wildlife back to the property.”
“At the end of the day the more participants we have the sooner our beautiful bushland will recover.”
Residents wishing to participate can apply online at www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/bushfire-land-conservation.
To view a short YouTube clip on the Land for Wildlife program visit youtu.be/Db-wHyO38wo.
Applications for both programs close 31 December 2020.
For more information on either the Land for Wildlife or Habitat for Wildlife programs phone Council’s Environment Team on phone 4868 0888.