Combined effort protects and connects endangered woodlands

Buckets full of seedlings are in the foreground, while people stand behind talking in a paddock.

Seedlings ready for planting to establish more Box-Gum Grassy Woodland.

Over the past five years, Greening Australia has partnered with ACT Natural Resource Management (ACT NRM) to improve, restore and connect critically endangered Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands in the capital region.

Funded by the Australian Government’s Regional Land Partnerships Program (a core component of the National Landcare Program), we worked with 21 private landholders and on public lands to plant diverse trees and shrubs, exclude livestock, and control environmental weeds. Together, these activities totalled over 900 hectares of targeted action.

Standing in a grassy paddock are two landholders and a Greening Australia staff member, smiling at the camera. There are seedlings ready to be planted sitting on the ground by their feet.

Private landholders were particularly key to the project and made significant in-kind contributions in preparing and maintaining the planting sites.

The 900 hectares included 425 hectares of revegetation designed to restore and connect remnants of this important ecosystem. When it came to planting those hectares, we had help from many people in the community – First Nations groups, schools, community and corporate groups, public servants – who got their hands dirty at almost 40 different events!

This includes the particularly amazing support of Greening Australia’s Green Team volunteers, who planted over 15,000 diverse trees and shrubs in the ACT for the project over the past five years.

More than 50 of Greening Australia’s nursery volunteers also helped to grow, thin, weed, transplant and pack all the seedlings used in these plantings each year.

A group of people stand in a paddock, posing for the camera. There are wooded hills in the background and just visible to the right of the group is a replanted area with tree guards visible.

Some of the Green Team and Greening Australia team members following a successful planting day.

Engaging all these people in the project is a great result, since raising awareness about Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands and alerting Canberrans to this treasure in the capital region has been a key objective of the project.

Lowland woodlands have been extensively cleared across eastern Australia with less than five percent of the original extent remaining. The ACT has managed to buck this trend, retaining over a third of its original extent of lowland woodlands, much of which is the Box-Gum Grassy Woodland vegetation community.

While this vegetation community is threatened both in the ACT and nationally, the ACT has some of the best quality patches of this habitat type in Australia.

As well as providing habitat for native species, these woodlands play an important role in maintaining the productivity of agricultural land, providing shelter from wind, heat and cold for pastures, crops and livestock.

Left photo shows tubestock sitting outside in a paddock, ready for planting. Right photo shows 4-year-old trees and shrubs in a paddock.

Left: Tubestock ready for planting. Right: Four-year-old trees and shrubs (planted 2019) growing well and already forming habitat for native wildlife.

So our efforts through this project are not only helping improve the condition and extent of critically endangered Box-Gum Grassy Woodland in the ACT, but also boosting on-farm productivity and creating important habitat connections for threatened wildlife.

The impact is already being seen, with bird surveys recording many threatened birds at our revegetation sites, including the Scarlet Robin, Gang-gang Cockatoo, White-winged Triller and Southern Whiteface.

Gang-gang Cockatoo. Credit: Eric Wenger.

Want to know more about how we work with landholders around Australia? Go to our landholders page for more information or to register your interest in a chat about planting with us on your land.


Subscribe to monthly updates from Greening Australia


Share this article