In June 2015, approximately 40 people visited my property of about 40 acres close to Gympie. This was the culmination of a six year personal journey.
In late 2008, our then Land for Wildlife Officer, Marc Russell, visited our then very overgrown property. Our property had originally been used for small crops but had not been touched for 30 years. The main problems in 2008 were areas of thick Molasses Grass and huge thickets of Lantana. Marc inspected the land and noted all the existing flora and fauna and suggested tackling one area of weeds at a time.
The area closest to the house came first. A large mat of Molasses Grass was sprayed and I began a program of cutting and poisoning 1-2 large Lantanas each day. In three months a long, thin area had been treated – but I needed something speedier!
Landcare came to the rescue. Two men with long hoses and a pump spray controlled as much Lantana in three hours as I had cleared in three months.
Eight years ago, the understorey was thick with Molasses Grass.
Now the understorey is full of native grasses, herbs and grass trees.
Over time, other areas were similarly tackled and now the only Lantana that dares to grow is easily pulled out. Molasses Grass has also diminished with one large area mowed regularly for control.
The biggest advance has been establishing a 4 km network of pathways. These have created access for easier weeding and planting, and they have also provided us with pleasant walking tracks.
A program of planting native trees and removing exotic trees has been followed. For example, a small Healthy Habitats grant enabled the establishment of a dry rainforest gully. Trees and shrubs were planted along the paths, around the dams and in previously mown areas. Recently, 200 Koala feed trees (mainly Tallowwood and grey gum) have been established in an area with large trees that show animal scratches.
Planting native trees where Lantana had once thrived
A range of wildlife is found on the property including wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, gliders, birds etc., and recently, observation of the occasional Koala. A walk each day is a delight as we are always discovering something new and seeing the fruits of our labour.
his has been a long and continuing journey but it was great to hear Marc say, at the end of the Land for Wildlife walk, that my property had been ‘transformed’.
Article and photos by Nonie Metzler Land for Wildlife member Gympie, Burnett Mary region