Leaders lunch presentation on wetland restoration at the Hamilton Club a big success

Leaders lunch presentation on wetland restoration at the Hamilton Club a big success

Last Friday, I had the great privilege of being the invited speaker for July at the monthly ‘Leaders Lunch’ held at the Hamilton Club. In the historic surrounds of the Club’s building on Gray Street, about 40 people had gathered to hear me speak about how NGT has been helping the community better manage and restore wetlands, by working on practical solutions with landholders in the Hamilton district. In the talk, we looked at examples of NGT wetland restoration projects on private land, public land, and some that straddle both public and private land at sites like Brady Swamp. With that example in mind, it was great to be able to acknowledge Doug Craig and Todd Burger, the owners of the private portion of Brady Swamp, for their significant role in the project, with both of these gentlemen in attendance. It was also great to be able to acknowledge Topsy Baulch, also in attendance who, along with her late husband Alex, were the first landowners to participate in NGT’s wetland restoration program on private land.

After the talk, I had a couple of hours of wonderful conversation with a diverse and very interesting range of people who had come along. Although many of these people probably justify a mention, being a brief blog update, I will make special mention of just two.

Firstly, a special thanks to Liz Fenton for helping to arrange my visit, and for her ongoing support and interest in the work of NGT. Liz has a wonderful ability to connect people up and in doing so has greatly helped NGT to build positive and trusting relationships within the community.

Lastly, I would like to make a special mention of John Fenton (a cousin of Liz’s), who you may have have heard about given the remarkable transformation he achieved of his family farm at Lanark. You see, John, who was also in attendance, didn’t remember me, but as a young ecologist I heard John give a talk at a conference in Adelaide about 15 or 16 years ago, where his vivid description of restoring Lanark left a deep impression on me. It was nice to be able to tell John in person that he was one of the guiding influences that shaped my early thinking towards wetland restoration, and to reassure him that what he started at Lanark all those years ago was just the beginning of something that continues to inspire our restoration work today.

Thanks to everyone at the Hamilton Club for making me feel so welcome, and I hope to have the opportunity to come back again and spend some time with you again in the future.

Before and after – the transformation of Lanark by John Fenton, a pioneer of wetland restoration

Mark Bachmann