Keith Wrigley with a Land for Wildlife sign on his property at The Pocket.
Keith Wrigley with a Land for Wildlife sign on his property at The Pocket.

Council launches voluntary land

A scheme that encourages and supports landholders to manage areas of their property for wildlife habitat has been launched by Byron Council.

Land for Wildlife is a voluntary property registration scheme open to private landholders, groups of individuals, schools and other government bodies who manage land with one-hectare or more of high conservation value vegetation.

 The council’s biodiversity extension officer, Wendy Neilan, said the council recognised the significant contribution being made by private landholders to nature conservation in the shire.

Ms Neilan said Land for Wildlife was about recognising this contribution and supporting people to manage areas of their land for wildlife habitat.
 
“Through joining the program, participants will receive advice and ongoing support to achieve land restoration goals¸ learn about local plants and animals, creating habitat and how to incorporate nature conservation into overall property management,” she said.

“There are also many benefits of becoming part of a network with likeminded people.”

According to Ms Neilan, experience in other regions has shown membership in Land for Wildlife can become contagious.

 She said neighbours seeing the improvements happening next door, became motivated to join the network and connectivity in the landscape was increased.

 “Another added benefit is that improvement in biodiversity values often leads to an increase in the productivity of land. For example restoring vegetation along creek lines can improve water quality and stabilise creek banks against erosion.”

Mayor Cr Jan Barham was yesterday due to launch the program and recognise the first group of landholders registered for Land for Wildlife in the shire at Keith and Rhonda Wrigley’s property at The Pocket.

The Wrigley’s have a working cattle property with areas of high conservation value vegetation including rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest, and is home to 17 rare and threatened plant species.

It is also home to a diversity of local wildlife including 90 bird species, platypus, wallabies, bandicoots, microbats, snakes, lizards and frogs.

Ms Neilan said Keith and Rhonda had incorporated nature conservation goals into their overall farm plan.

She said their registration was one of the first Land for Wildlife properties in the shire and was a well-deserved acknowledgement of this commitment to provide habitat for wildlife.

For more information on Land for Wildlife including how to apply to become a registered property go to the council’s website at www.byron.nsw.gov.au/land-for-wildlife or contacting Ms Neilan on 66267119 or email: biodiversity@byron.nsw.gov.au

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