Big turnout lifts morale

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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As the Chinese proverb says, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is today.

Taking second best to heart, 50 volunteers set about planting some 28,000 seedlings at Talbot Brook, near York, at the weekend.

The relatively new farm block owners, Sue Trinidad and Alisdair Dougall, were overwhelmed with the re-vegetation support, especially from so many young people.

Talbot Brook Land Management Association (TBLMA) president Colin Cable said the future of the group relied on appropriate funding, a desire among its members to bring change to degraded areas , and getting young people involved in the projects.

While the funding is fully supported through Lotterywest and the Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management grants, Mr Cable admitted he was somewhat bogged down by the paperwork involved.

However, the TBLMA leader and his dedicated team of core members are working towards bigger projects and the ambition aims towards helping the local farming community in its prevention of land degeneration.

“It is very exciting to have farmers outside our catchment sit up and take notice of our projects, ” Mr Cable said.

The group’s successful fight against salinity, acid sulphate soils and erosion began in 1995.

Working closely with landholders about the benefit of land care, the group’s projects have shown remarkable recovery mostly by planting natural vegetation.

“Areas along the creek lines have been protected by the erection of fences to stop stock intrusion, ” Mr Cable said.

“We are endeavouring to recreate the biodiversity which has been in these areas in the past.

“And equally important is how we are involved in educating landowners and our young volunteers.”

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