Now seems a good time, perhaps the best time, to take a fresh look at what we do in our everyday lives, to rethink our mindsets, to change our habits and routines. After all, we’ve all rolled with the punches throughout 2020 as a matter of necessity and found that we can do it. And the need is urgent.
Have you ever thought about how much of our country is owned privately? By us? In Victoria two-thirds of the state is owned privately – that’s a lot of land!
So why are we leaving nature conservation to public land managers? Let’s take it on ourselves, on our own land!
Let’s take on nature conservation. It doesn’t matter how small the little piece of Australia you own or manage is – there is something you can do. From a balcony to a backyard, a front paddock to a station, a school yard to a shopping centre precinct, an industrial lot to a golf course – there is something you can do to help protect, retain or restore our precious and unique Australian nature.
The best and basic first step is to plant local native plants. In pots, in your garden, on your farm, in the yard of your business, your shopping centre, your development, your industrial lot. Yes, we can.
Local native plants – indigenous plants – provide food and homes for our unique native pollinators, birds and animals and help our native species to move across the landscape. Cleared land can’t do this. Gardens of European plants can’t do this. Thousands of hectares of monoculture crops can’t do this.
Planting indigenous plants adds to the amazing benefits we already enjoy from having trees and gardens on our own land; storing carbon, retaining water in the soil, providing shelter and shade, cooling, reducing wind, screening, providing fresh air, beauty and pleasure, helping us relax, adding value to our properties. By planting indigenous, we also support local natural ecosystems and provide precious links for native species to migrate across our landscape as they need, to find food, homes, mates.
As ordinary renters, owners and managers, we have in our hands the potential to make, yard by back yard, lot by lot and farm by farm, a huge contribution to the conservation of native species. So why not make your little piece of Australia a little bit more Australian?
There are lots resources around to help you get started. For gardeners, there are Top Tips from Gardens for Wildlife, the Albury Wodonga Garden Guide and lots of other resources at local Councils and with Landcare groups and networks such as Wodonga Landcare and Woolshed-Thurgoona Landcare. For larger land managers Murray Local Land Services and the North East CMA have a wealth of resources. Let’s all get to it!