Taking action now for nature

Nod to the future: As well as protecting natural bushland by placing a conservation covenant on a block, Phil Cadel has found out more about the site’s flora and fauna.

Kotupna landowner Phil Cadel was keen to have a say on how his land looked in the future when he agreed to place a conservation covenant on 67ha of his property.

Through a collaborative project between Goulburn Broken CMA, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Trust for Nature, Mr Cadel entered into a voluntary legally-binding agreement, which will ensure his nature block is protected into perpetuity.

Mr Cadel said it was a win-win situation for all parties.

“I wanted to do something positive for the environment, so when I was approached about the covenant, I thought it sounded like a good idea.

“I’ve always kept it as a nature block but it’s good to know that now it will stay like that forever.”

He said it was his way of staking a small claim on the future.

“I also saw it as a good opportunity to learn a little bit about my land, especially habitat for native animals, and of course the fencing has been great as well.”

As part of the agreement, a 700m fence was built to help define and protect the site.

“It’s reassuring to know nothing will happen to it in the future, especially because so many of these places are getting cleared these days.”

Goulburn Broken CMA’s Rebecca Caldwell said it was crucial to protect parcels of land like that belonging to Mr Cadel, due to their high ecological value.

“The site is situated adjacent to the Lower Goulburn National Park and contains highly valued log and leaf litter, which provides habitat for ground-dwelling species,” Ms Caldwell said.

“There are many mature river red gum trees and grey box remnants. We’re really pleased the landowner opted to place a covenant on his property because it contains a number of vulnerable and endangered species.”

Trust for Nature’s Shae Brennan said the site was particularly appealing due to its species diversity.

“There is a range of tree age classes, which is really good because you don’t want a system which is all regrowth or all old growth. This block has a nice mix of both.”

She said landowners were increasingly interested in dedicating parcels of land to conservation purposes.

“We’re finding that farmers and landowners in general recognise that initiatives such as these add value to their properties.”

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