Silver Wattle regrowth with remnant forest beyond.
Silver Wattle regrowth with remnant forest-trees beyond.

‘Noora’ is a 130 ha privately owned block of land in the northern Strathbogies. It had been partly cleared for grazing several decades ago, but is now being managed by the owners as a  nature conservation area. Despite the clearing and grazing history, the property retains significant conservation values and with additional effort over the next few years, it should improve even more.

There are small areas of the ‘original’ bush left, including some valuable wetland areas and rocky outcrop habitat. It’s home to many different bird species and also Long-nosed Bandicoots. Luckily a number of big, old trees were left as paddock trees at the time of clearing and these now provide important habitat in the sea of regrowth.

The property (1.75 km x 0.74 km=130 ha) from the air.
The property (1.75 km x 0.74 km=130 ha) from the air. Straw-coloured patches are grassland; the fine-grained lighter-green colour is regenerating Silver Wattle and the coarser-grained texture is the tree-cover.

The owners have developed a nature conservation & management plan that will  lead to an overall improvement  in the properties ecological condition and they have now received substantial funding through the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and the Australian Government to implement the plan. The plan includes managing blackberry infestations, maintaining fences, enabling natural regeneration (removing stock) direct seeding and monitoring.The site is an important habitat corridor between two separated blocks of State Forest (to the east and west) and the previously cleared areas are now regenerating thickly with Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata), so the management plan includes increasing plant diversity into the regenerating Silver Wattle regrowth.

Here are some images to give you a visual feel for the property

The management plan will be implemented over the next five years, but the direct seeding was already done in late September 2013, when the ground was warming up, but still had plenty of moisture. Janet and Justus Hagen run a direct seeding business and here’s how they do it.

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This is certainly one of the larger private property nature conservation reserves in the Strathbogies and represents a significant  contribution to the region’s ‘conservation estate’. But you don’t need 130 ha to make your mark – for more information about nature conservation on private property visit the information page on the Strathbogie Ranges CMN website.