Two and a half years ago we bought five acres opposite a bushland reserve. We fell in love with the sheer number of trees on the property. Unfortunately, there were no shrubs and hardly any young native plants, as the ground had been mowed and slashed for quite some time before we became the owners. We knew that we could make a difference by transforming the site into a significant place for wildlife.
We straight away got in contact with the Brisbane Land for Wildlife team and had the pleasure of meeting Fflur Collier. We were so glad as we received a lot of useful information, books and plants to help us transform the property back to a natural bushland state.
In the paddock, we started by letting the grass grow to see what might pop up. We got rid of the weeds and planted a few native plants. We keep a mown trail for access around unmown ‘islands’.
We were amazed how fast the land started to regenerate. We have so many native seeds stored in the ground, and it is fantastic and interesting to see what comes out of it. We now have a lot of acacias, a variety of gumtrees, dianellas, native grasses, she-oaks, smorgasbord trees (Alphitonia excelsa), and a plethora of native vines, just to name a few.
The groundcover, Koala Bells (Artanema fimbriatum), has popped up everywhere after all the rain in 2022.
There are a lot of gumtrees that have also naturally regenerated. When they germinate in my veggie patch, I carefully dig them out and place them into a pot until they get bigger. I do the same with the trees I buy as tubestock and I am surprised how much better they grow once they are planted into the ground.
Several water points have been set up for wildlife during the dry months and have been used by Koalas, possums and magpies. Note the Koala up the tree on the right side of the middle image. Photos L-R by Anita Meier.
We aren’t short on wildlife either. Our local Koala has a favourite old Blue Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) tree in the regenerating paddock. We set up drinking stations for the Koalas, lizards and snakes etc. and there are plenty of bird baths spread all around.
Recently, we engaged a professional conservation arborist to transform a dead limb on a tree into accommodation for birds and other hollow dependent wildlife. This was done using the chainsaw-carved hollows technique (see article on pages 10-11). Last year we also built and installed around 20 different nest boxes for birds.
Pest animals are still a constant feature in our area, and we are trying to catch the foxes that visit our property at night. Luckily, Brisbane City Council’s pest animal management team can help with this, and we already have had some success.
Owning acreage and helping transform it into a wildlife haven may sound too much work for some, but to us it’s exciting; there is always something happening. Roaming around to see what is changing or growing offsets the hard work that we put in.
Article by Anita and Hubert Meier
Land for Wildlife members