There's a lot happening in the Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks Project

01 March 2013

There's a great deal of work underway as part of the Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks Project.  The project aims to strengthen the links between biodiversity and agricultural production by restoring and replanting vegetation.

A new website has been launched, planning is underway for an autumn tree planting program, a series of Revegetation Case Studies has just been printed, "What You Can Do" information brochures have been released, and key participants have just taken part in a planting workshop held at Moree to view innovative revegetation technology and equipment in action and share their knowledge and expertise.

Over a period of five years the Biolinks Project aims to establish, restore and protect critical native vegetation corridors linking the slopes and plains in the Brigalow Nandewar region bounded by Moree, Edgeroi, Bingara and Gravesend, and including Bellata, Gurley, Millie, and Terry Hie Hie.   

The Biolinks Project will also support landholders to revegetate, restore and manage streamside vegetation throughout the entire Border-Rivers Gwydir CMA region.

The goal is to reconnect farmland with the valuable beneficial services supplied free to agriculture by the natural environment, and to restore linking corridors of vegetation for native flora and fauna.

In Moree last week, Biolinks Project partners had the opportunity to see planting techniques and technology suitable for large scale revegetation ventures on the Western Plains, demonstrated by environmental rehabilitation and revegetation experts.

A range of planting equipment was showcased on the day, including Alan Lauder's Multi Task Water Injection Planter.  The Lauder device injects water both around and below the seedling, allowing planting to take place whenever a moisture profile is present, without having to time planting immediately after rain.   The Lauder machine can plant up to 7000 seedlings in a day.

Ecological Consultant, Dave Carr, demonstrated the use of a standard John Deere Maxi-merge precision planter, using seeding plates modified for planting a wide variety of native grass, shrub and tree seeds. Also on show was a single row planter for direct drilling native seeds that can be towed behind a 4WD ute.

Planting of demonstration sites as part of the Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks Project will commence this autumn.  

"This is a really exciting project that has been conceived and developed by a range of stakeholders including Landcare, community groups, University researchers and the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA," explained Project Leader, Martin Dillon.

"Our primary focus is to engage and support landholders to re-establish vital native vegetation linkages within the landscape, and to build community capacity to restore and manage patches of native vegetation. It's a win-win for farmers and for the environment, and in the long run will make our catchments much more resilient."

New information outlining "What You Can Do" is available from local Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA offices.

"The brochure will outline simple actions that can be supported under the project. These actions can be taken to manage and enhance biodiversity on your land and improve your productivity," said Mr Dillon.

The Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA welcomes the appointment of Mr Dillon to lead this exciting initiative over the next four years.  

The Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks website is also now online at:   www.agbiolinks.com.au. The site can also be accessed via a link on the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA home page at:  www.brg.cma.nsw.gov.au. This site will provide details of coming events and updates on project progress, and it contains comprehensive information about the goals of the Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks Project.

"You can download Fact Sheets from the site, and we're also in the process of adding fascinating case studies about landholders who have increased profitability and land resilience, as well as improving biodiversity," said Mr Dillon.

"Simple changes to farming systems, such as converting marginal cropping paddocks back to native pastures, can make a real difference in terms of reducing costs, and improving feed reserves.  We're putting real life stories online about farmers who've made changes aimed at better sustainability and improved biodiversity, and they're seeing really positive outcomes."

The Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks Project is supported by the Australian Government's Biodiversity Fund under the Clean Energy Future Initiative.  

For more information contact Martin Dillon on 02 6773 5268.

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