In my job as a Land for Wildlife Officer I have been privileged to meet many inspirational landowners who have devoted a large part of their lives nurturing their properties. As land custodians, they have transformed their properties into wildlife havens, and in doing so provide benefits for nature and their community. Occasionally I also witness what happens when the landowner has to sell their property, and the new owners don’t share the same values and respect for nature.
When Noel Tolson, his brother David and sister-in-law Mary purchased their West Cooroy property in 1985, it was a very run- down block dominated by weeds including Groundsel, Lantana and Camphor Laurel. Over the next 30 years they carefully transformed their property into a biodiverse landscape by actively replanting with native species and assisting natural regeneration of bushland in other areas. In 2000, the property was registered with the Land for Wildlife program.
In 2018, Noel was faced with the decision to sell his property. Noel was hoping the buyer would want the property for the forest and not undo 30 or so years of dedication and hard work. Enter Jacob Broomhall who was looking for a property that was mostly forest yet not too large, and one that was hopefully abundant in wildlife. Jacob loved the property and purchased it.
In Jacob’s words, “Having now formed a good friendship with Noel, it’s a joy to have him come around to share with me the history and knowledge he has of the property, rather than have it cease with the handover of real estate ownership. It only seems right to continue to let him visit the forest he and nature created together. It’s now legally mine but I’ll always call it his.”
Banner image: 2019 Planted trees now forming a self-sustaining forest
Land for Wildlife Officer