Planting 4,500 native trees to help restore a critically endangered woodland community

CHEP help restore the foundations of an endangered woodland community

Sydney - 13 May 2021 - Last week’s planting of 4,500 native trees and shrubs marks a major milestone in an environmental project to restore the foundations of a critically endangered woodland community. 

Late last year, the Upper Snowy Landcare Network received the inaugural CHEP Australia Land Management and Sustainable Agriculture Landcare Grant. The project will help restore the original grassy woodland community, resulting in the return of ecosystem function and deliver environmental services, such as increasing biodiversity, improving water retention, and drawing down carbon into the soil and plants.

The project site is five hectares of grazing land on Coolringdon, an historic grazing property situated opposite Cooma Airport on the Snowy Mountains Highway. Planting these 4,500 native trees and shrubs is in response to a recent massive eucalyptus tree dieback in the Snowy Monaro area.

The planting was managed by Upper Snowy Landcare Network using contractors from Creative Lines, a local Eden-Monaro team with a clear commitment to restoring land to its former condition and ecological health. Over 20 Upper Snowy Landcare Network volunteers helped with the planting and 25 CHEP Australia employees appreciated the opportunity to travel to the site from Sydney to spend two days volunteering on this project.

Margaret Mackinnon, Chair of the Upper Snowy Landcare Network, said “Planting such a substantial number of native trees will support the ecological health of this agricultural land.

“It will also restore habitat for native birds, bats and marsupials, including some of the 46 species that are listed as vulnerable or endangered in NSW and rely on woodland habitat for survival and reproduction.”

On a larger scale, the plantation will provide a stepping-stone for animals and birds to move across the landscape. This will help address habitat fragmentation arising from agricultural activity and dieback that is a key threat to further loss of endangered species.

The return of ground litter and lack of soil disturbance arising from the plantation will also help to control invasion of weeds, especially African Lovegrass, a significant threat to the grazing productivity in the central

CHEP’s ongoing partnership with Landcare Australia is just one aspect of their overall commitment to sustainability. Lis Mannes, Executive General Manager for CHEP Australia said, “We’re proud to support this program and the regeneration of Australia’s valuable land and water assets.

This is another small step forward in positive outcomes for our environment and the communities in which we live.  We hope it encourages other landholders to get involved.”

Dr Shane Norrish, Landcare Australia CEO, said, “We’re grateful to CHEP for their generous support and their commitment to environmental and biodiversity enhancements in regional communities.”

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Planting 4,500 native trees to help restore a critically endangered woodland community | CHEP