When Peter and Carolyn Burford bought their two hectare Tallebudgera Valley property 12 years ago, they weren’t too sure what they were getting themselves into. They knew they had a creek hidden among the weeds – they could hear it after all. But the thought of actually seeing it was tantalising. Firstly though, they would have to fight their way through all that lantana.
Initially despairing, thinking that ‘ordinary suburban folk couldn’t handle it’, they joined Land for Wildlife to gain advice on how to restore their property from a weed infested, degraded banana farm, to the original rainforest. With the support and inspiration gained through their 11-year involvement in Land for Wildlife, and with a lot of their own blood, sweat and tears, Peter and Carolyn have restored not only the magnificent creek that once lay hidden but also an extra hectare back to subtropical rainforest.
While amazed and thrilled with the fruits of their labour, the fact that they had another hectare of lantana and molasses grass to go had them concerned. They were beginning to wonder whether they would get through it. In 2012 the City of Gold Coast launched its Nature Conservation Assistance Program (NCAP). The program supports private landholders, like the Burfords, to restore bushland on their own property and in turn, contribute to the city’s biodiversity and wildlife habitat.
The Burfords were successful in obtaining NCAP funding to restore the section of their property that remained degraded. Factors such as the property’s position in a major wildlife corridor and its connectivity to large tracts of intact vegetation deemed it as one of high conservation value. The property also provides habitat to rare and threatened species and is significant in having a vegetation type mapped as ‘of concern’ by State Government. The Burfords are committed to restoring native habitat and work hard to ensure weeds don’t re- establish.
The Burfords have used bushland restoration contractors to carry out initial lantana control, and over the coming years, will provide follow-up weed control to discourage weed regrowth and encourage natural regeneration. Because their property is so well connected to existing bushland, they do not need to plant and instead, will rely on the native seed bank to revegetate their property.
The Burfords are delighted to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They enjoy a thriving subtropical rainforest as their own backyard and the knowledge that their efforts are contributing to the conservation of the Gold Coast region gives them great satisfaction.
Peter and Carolyn Burford
Before lantana control (above) and after control (below) at one section of the Burford’s NCAP project site.
Photos by Peter and Carolyn Burford.
Article by Lexie Webster Land for Wildlife Officer Gold Coast City Council
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