As you now know, thanks to all of you – our incredible supporters out there – we reached our fundraising target for Mt Burr Swamp!
Not only is this a big weight off our collective shoulders at NGT heading towards the end of the year, but it also provides us with a chance to reflect on what comes next…
As we’ve explained in the media over the past few months and at the open day on site in October, aside from immediately restoring the main swamp and protecting the remnant patch of bush in the south western corner of the property from grazing, we’re not rushing into doing anything too dramatic just yet.
There are a few reasons for this…
- This is a long-term conservation project, and we want to make sure we go about the process of transitioning the property out of farming in a staged, sensible way – that means doing our homework, coming up with a plan and really thinking things through first. We’re aiming to develop our restoration and management plan over the next 6 months.
- In the meantime, we’ve leased the portions of the property still suitable for grazing (i.e. those areas outside of our two immediate conservation zones) back to the previous owner. Not only does this buy us some time to develop our plan (without having to take on day-to-day management of the whole property before we are ready), but it also enables the previous owners the opportunity to plan an orderly transition out of cattle grazing on the property – which after waiting patiently for us over the past 5 years, I think is the least we can do. It also means we have on-site caretakers who know the place inside-out, keeping an eye on things for us. A win-win situation!
- Needless to say, from a funding perspective, it makes good strategic sense to develop our plan first before we start tackling too much over and above our two immediate conservation priorities. We have secured the property and won’t have to carry a debt from the purchase (a huge relief obviously), but at this point we don’t have funding set aside for restoration and management of the wider property, outside of the two immediate conservation zones.
- So when funding opportunities do come up in the future, we need to have a plan in place and be ready to act to secure the resources we’ll need to get on with the job. We know the property will be appealing for granting bodies to invest in because of its location in the landscape and fantastic, large-scale restoration potential, so it is a matter of “when” and not “if” the opportunity arises.
- This also means that if you’d like to donate funds to help us with those future costs, to give us a head-start, we’d be grateful for your support.
But for now, we have a swamp that is bursting with life and will hold water again for longer than it has for several decades, thanks to our early restoration works successfully making the most of the recent wet spring.
If you’d like to see for yourself what you’ve helped us to achieve so far, and didn’t make it to the celebration day in October, then another opportunity to see the place will be coming up in the New Year. But for now, perhaps enjoy this “hot off the press” bird’s eye view, generously donated by Charles Prime of LC Aerial, who captured this aerial image of the site just a few weeks ago – taken in November 2016.
Thanks Charles for the amazing perspective, and for capturing the start of our restoration journey in incredible detail!