I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Stephenson near Bairnsdale in East Gippsland. Matt’s family farm has a rich history, but it’s not just a place of agricultural tradition; it’s also a sanctuary for native flora and fauna. Thanks to a Landcare Gallagher Grant, Matt has embarked on a journey to improve and protect this remarkable piece of land. This Smart Farm Fence Enhances Biodiversity and allows better management of his farm.
Preserving Biodiversity with Gallagher’s Help:
Matt has a strong connection to Landcare, having a history of involvement in the organisation. However, it was the Landcare Gallagher Grant that truly enabled him to take his conservation efforts to the next level. With this funding, he implemented an exclusion fence to protect a significant conservation area on his family’s property. This fence was designed to exclude not only domestic livestock but also deer, which had been causing damage to the fragile ecosystem.
Smart Farm Fence Enhances Biodiversity:
The primary goal of the fence was to exclude livestock and deer, but it turned out to be even more effective. It also regulates the movement of kangaroos, wombats, and wallabies. By utilising smart fencing technology, Matt was able to manage these creatures, protecting his recently planted trees from harm.
Emus Finding Their Way:
One remarkable outcome was that even emus and deer, known for their adaptability, have not found a way to circumvent the exclusion fence. They are now peacefully coexisting on the property without causing damage to the conservation area. This is a testament to the effectiveness of the fencing.
A Multifaceted Farm:
Matt’s family farm has seen a variety of uses over the years. It’s been a dairy farm, a beef cattle farm, and a sheep farm. Today, Matt maintains a small number of Dorper sheep. However, alongside his agricultural activities, he’s dedicated a portion of the property to preserving the natural environment, creating a harmonious balance between farming and conservation.
Protecting a Natural Wonder: The Sandstone Gorge:
One of the jewels of Matt’s property is a breathtaking Sandstone Gorge. This area is home to a diverse array of plants and wildlife, including platypuses and water dragons. It’s not just a conservation site; it’s a place of tranquillity, attracting nature enthusiasts. This gorge was under threat due to the presence of livestock and deer.
Mitigating the Damage:
The exclusion fence has significantly reduced the damage to the sensitive areas around the gorge. Soil erosion and the browsing of native plants were two major concerns caused by livestock and deer. The fence has effectively mitigated these issues, allowing for regrowth and the successful planting of thousands of trees in the area.
A Bright Future for Biodiversity:
The exclusion fence has been in place for about 12 months, and the results are promising. Matt has observed a significant increase in the recruitment of native plants, and the trees are thriving without the threat of large populations of browsing animals.
Landcare Gallagher Grants:
Landcare, in partnership with Gallagher, offers grants like the one Matt received to landholders. These grants are available annually, providing financial support to projects that promote conservation and sustainable land management.
Matt Stephenson’s story is an inspiring example of how farming and conservation can go hand in hand. Thanks to a Landcare Gallagher Grant and smart fencing technology, he successfully protected his family’s property while preserving and enhancing its natural beauty. This blog post highlights the positive impact that these grants can have on both the environment and agricultural practices. If you’re interested in learning more about Gallagher’s Landcare Grants, please check out the links provided in this article. And remember to subscribe for more inspiring stories like Matt’s. Together, we can make a difference in the world of farming and conservation.