Mt Vandyke Fundraiser Update and Conservation Fences Part 2: Sharing NGT’s fence design

The balance of the Mt Vandyke land purchase loan as at 30th Sept 2021

A small number of donations have still been coming in, which has helped to further reduce the Mt Vandyke land purchase loan balance – as of today (the 30th September), we’ve nudged the balance down to $135,335.03 – fast approaching the 40% mark still to go. As always, thank you to those of you who have chipped in for your wonderful support!

The proportion of the loan still to go as at 30th Sept 2021

Having the land completely paid off will pave the way for the exciting future plans we have for the property over the years ahead… and we’d love to have you on board too!

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

In other important Mt Vandyke news, and as a follow-up to last month’s newsletter article about conservation fences, last week (on Tuesday the 21st September) we held a really productive workshop with representatives from our immediate ‘neighbours’ at Mt Vandyke – staff from Parks Victoria (who manage Cobboboonee National Park) and DELWP (who deliver the Glenelg Ark fox baiting program across this reserve and adjacent public land).

Current target and future potential species to supplement and/or re-establish in the fox-baited landscape surrounding Mt Vandyke

This was a chance for us to share what we have learned after researching the latest on conservation fences around Australia, as well as test the logic our preferred fence design (considering current and future potential species of interest), and to discuss any optional elements that we were yet to finalise.

Rose has been really grateful for a number of sanctuary managers so openly sharing their designs, experiences and ideas in the lead up to this workshop, which has greatly assisted the development of our current preferred option. The latest fences currently being built around Australia are now generally very similar to each other, but there are still some minor variations based on target species and local sites conditions. After weighing all of that up, we are currently leaning towards constructing a fence that is very similar to one of the standard catalogue options now suggested by Waratah Fencing, as shown below at Aussie Ark in NSW – however in our case we will leave the apron uncovered and initially test it without electric wires.

A conservation fence at Aussie Ark in NSW.

The specifications of the 1.8 m to 2 m high fence we have settled on, are below. As you’ll see, we’re not convinced just yet (based on all the asking around we have done) that electric wires are going to be necessary based on this design, but we will design and build the fence so that this element can easily be added later if required. We also have the benefit that with animals releases still a few years away, we have the time to build, test and monitor the fence and its efficacy for feral exclusion well in advance.

Mt Vandyke fence design elements currently preferred by NGT

A big thank you to the various people who have been part of our planning and discussions so far. We’re now on track to place our materials order very soon, and for the fence construction to begin in early 2022 – so stay tuned for further updates!

The project at Mount Vandyke is partly funded in 2021-22 by the Australian Government,
via the Bushfire Recovery for Wildlife and Habitat Community Grants Program.

Mark Bachmann