Trees on Farms Program
Native vegetation provides a critical role across the Northern Tablelands Landscape, 80% of which is agricultural land. The Trees on Farms Program supports a range of activities that help integrate native vegetation in the agricultural landscape.
Natural ecosystems, and the plants and animals they contain, support agriculture in many ways.
- trees provide shade and shelter for stock, create protected areas and slow hot winds
- riparian vegetation filters the water entering our streams and rivers providing better quality water for livestock
- birds, micro bats, beneficial insects and spiders eat millions of crop pests each year
- pollination by bees and other insects improve crop yields and profitability
- A diversity of native trees, shrubs and grasses help make pastures resilient to varying seasonal conditions.
The program supports a range of projects which are much more than just 'Trees' on farms, but aim to increase biodiversity, protect threatened species and increase community appreciation of our unique but fragile vegetation communities across the tablelands.
Priority vegetation spatial mapping and linkages project
This project aims to take a whole of landscape perspective, working at a regional scale to identify and promote critical communities for protection (high conservation value vegetation). It will identify important linkages across the region using best available data and encourage landholder participation in management and protection.
On-ground works partnership projects
We work at a farm scale and encourage the reestablishment and regeneration of trees for shade and shelter through the on ground partnership grants, delivered as part of the National Landcare Program. Activities that are eligible for funding include:
- Planting shelter belts or wind breaks with native trees or shrubs
- Improving habitat for threatened species
- Protecting and managing existing native vegetation
- Revegetation on farm, protecting paddock trees and encouraging natural regeneration.
- Establishing tree corridors to connect patches of scrub
- Working to address Dieback which threatens biodiversity and individual species
- Exploring establishment techniques such as engineered woodlands to encourage uptake of large scale tree planting across productive farmland
New England North West native seed bank
The seed bank was created under past Catchment Management Authority projects to support revegetation projects delivered directly or via partnerships. Over the past 2 years it has been expanded to build up a broad representation of seed from across the region. The seed bank's aims are to:
- Enhance availability of endemic seeds to enable revegetation activities to use locally appropriate species in specific locations and landforms;
- Facilitate the use of direct seeding for improved revegetation success and cost effectiveness; and
- Build regional capacity for endemic seed collection, preparation, storage and utilisation.
The seed bank will be continued and further enhanced this year. All revegetation works undertaken under the Trees on Farms program will be required to use local provenance seed where available.
Partnerships with local nurseries have been established to use local seed for revegetation works and grow seed stock that is resilient to the tough climates of the tablelands.
Threatened Ecological Communities and Threatened Species on TSRs project
This project aims to manage and enhance Threatened Ecological Communities on Travelling Stock Reserves and improve management of adjacent land in private ownership through the delivery of stewardship agreements / on-ground partnership grants.
On-site actions will be undertaken to develop site plans with land managers for sites of high conservation significance where long term grazing leases have been agreed too. Through the project, landholders will have opportunities to learn about the existing native vegetation and management practices to improve habitat quality.
Landholders adjacent to Travelling Stock Routes will be directly approached to apply for on ground funding to assist in their management of Threatened Ecological communities adjacent to Travelling Stock Reserves. Through an initial stage of data collection, the project will establish, consolidate and improve knowledge of Threatened Ecological Communities and Threatened Species habitat on the Northern Tablelands. This will allow planning for future projects and specific targeted actions in the future.