Help plant the next generation of paddock trees in the Limestone Coast

Trees For Life is looking for volunteers to help landholders plant the next generation of paddock trees within the Limestone Coast in the last week of May.

Bush Action Team volunteers will give a helping hand to farmers involved in the Limestone Coast Paddock Tree Project. Local residents can get involved with come and try days to help with planting and guarding individual paddock trees.

Trees For Life Habitat Officer Cassie Hlava said the project will benefit the local community, landholders and native wildlife.

“The south east community really value their paddock trees but due to historical clearance, recent intensification of agriculture, natural senescence and drying conditions these magnificent trees are now sparse.”

“Old paddock trees provide hollows for red-tails and a myriad of other local wildlife. They are valuable to stock and close to the hearts of locals who associate these woodland giants with a sense of history and home,” Cassie said.

A recent independent report* commissioned by the South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Red-tails) Recovery Team demonstrated that one of the highest rates of loss of scattered paddock trees in Australia was within the red-tails range and that this loss has accelerated since 1997. The report projects that at the current rate all paddock trees in the region will have disappeared by 2061.

Moved by the urgent need to replace paddock trees in the landscape for red-tails and the community’s passion to see these trees protected and replaced, Trees For Life, in partnership with the Limestone Coast Landscape Board, launched the ‘Limestone Coast Paddock Tree Project’ and called for expressions of interest over summer.

Trees For Life Limestone Coast Paddock Tree Project Officer Kelsey Bennett said they were overwhelmed by the community’s response.

“We had over 80 submissions doubling the available funding for this financial year. It’s fantastic that the project received such a high level of interest and that landholders are keen to plant more trees on their properties,” Kelsey said.

During late autumn and winter 18 landholders will undertake paddock tree plantings with the help of Trees For Life and volunteers.

The planting days will take place between Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 May 2021 in various locations across the Limestone Coast. Local volunteers can help on as many days as they like, and can join for a half day or full day.

“The volunteers will assist landholders who have committed to planting large numbers of trees and could use a hand,” Kelsey said.

“Planting paddock trees is a great way to get out in nature and meet other people who are passionate about the environment. Participants will work in small teams to plant and guard each tree, with supportive and experienced staff and volunteers on hand to provide help. You don’t need any previous experience with all training and equipment provided on the day.”

Transport from Adelaide and Mt Gambier is available but spaces are limited so make sure to register.

For further information and to register please contact Trees For Life on 08 8406 0500 or info@treesforlife.org.au.

This project is jointly funded through the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s Grassroots Grants Program and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

*Reference: Habitat Extent Mapping and Rates of Habitat Change for the 2003 to 2017 period Across Feeding and Nesting Resources for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Report prepared for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Recovery Team, Future Ecosystems, 2019.

For more information on the project please contact Kelsey Bennett, Trees For Life Limestone Coast Paddock Tree Project Officer, on 0401 604 129 or kelseyb@treesforlife.org.au

OR

Cassie Hlava, Trees For Life Habitat Officer South-Eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, on 0422 402 703 or cassieh@treesforlife.org.au.