In a very exciting partnership with Bangalow Koalas the big expanse of ex-cow paddock on the south-east side of Araucaria Sanctuary is being converted to a future forest. More than 7000 trees are going in… a mixture of koala-suitable eucalypts interplanted with other “big scrub” species to provide fruit, foliage and habitat to a diversity of wildlife species.
With the floods and continued rains, access to the flats has been really challenging and not even 4-wheel drive vehicles have been able to cross the creek and paddocks. So Don’s first task was to construct several land bridges, just to be able to ferry plants, stakes, guards and equipment over the creek with the tractor.
Then the trees arrived from Eastern Forest Nursery, Firewheel Nursery and Friends of the Koala Native Nursery. Box after box; tray after tray. Their diverse foliage and gorgeous new growth was so inspiring but rather overwhelming when we realised just how many trees there were.
Organising the thousands of tree stakes was another big challenge, and we have been kindly loaned mountains of tree guards. Don did trip after trip across the creek… but there are STILL many more pallet loads to go.
Planting began on 22nd June with a team of awesome contractors from East Coast Bush Regeneration, headed up by the amazing Rossco. The sound of bumble bees filled the valley as they brushcut the tree holes before planting. A team of Indigenous Rangers arrived one day too, helping to put stakes on the trees that had been planted at that point.
Saturday 25th was the volunteer day, with the ever dynamic Koala in Chief, Linda Sparrow, coordinating a team of helpers to get trees in the ground. It was a delightful morning, with beautiful weather and lots of energy and enthusiasm. We met some wonderful, committed tree planters – young and old – who braved the muddy ground and creek crossing – all in the name of getting more trees growing for Koalas and other wildlife.
Rossco’s team have worked on – rain and shine – for many days now. There is still a way to go, and we have a LOT of tree guards still to get out there on trees – but this rain is fabulous to water them all in and settle their roots into the soil where we hope they will grow fast and strong.
Bangalow Koalas are supported by WWF-Australia Regenerate Australia and One Tree Planted and NSW State Government DPE. We thank everyone who has contributed to this huge tree planting through financial support, coordination and particularly all the “boots on the ground”. We are so excited to be able to watch this forest grow and know that it will provide homes to wildlife for many years to come.