Partnering with foresters, councils and sport clubs – NGT’s 2021 revegetation roll-out is nearly done!

The NGT planting crew has been busy with a range of revegetation projects through the winter. We began July with a small sea of native seedlings in the NGT nursery, and bit by bit they’ve gone out to new homes at restoration sites across the south east of SA and just into south west Victoria. The wet winter has been fantastic, giving enough soil moisture to start planting early and to extend the planting season for longer.

Plantings have taken place on forestry land at Penola Park for Timberlands, and quarry rehabilitation plantings at Wandilo, Snake Hill, Nangwarry and Mount Muir for OneFortyOne.

Penola Park reveg site planted out by students from Penola and Mount Gambier High Schools

At NGT’s Mount Burr Swamp, Bryan and crew were busy with the first plantings for the creation stories walk. Around Mount Gambier, there were more plantings on the Rail Trail to expand the plant diversity at last year’s site, and biodiversity plantings at Inter Soccer Club, with >25 species planted on the edge of their new pitch.

Volunteers helping out at the Mt Gambier Rail Trail, admiring some plants already flowering

One of our larger planting sites is the 75 ha Honeysuckle Airstrip (next to Dry Creek Native Forest Reserve and the Glenelg River) in partnership with HVP. It comprises a former airstrip and grazing land with a mix of shallow soils over limestone and deeper sand, patches of swamp gum, messmate stringybark, and large cleared areas with low-grazed weedy and native grasses, native shrubs and herbs.

We started on the multi-year revegetation process of this site this year, planting limestone-loving species such as dryland tea-tree, drooping she-oak, silver banksia, golden wattle, myrtle wattle and sweet bursaria, as well as clumps of spiny-headed mat-rush, native wallaby grasses and spear grasses, and some smaller herbs such as running postman. We’ve also added some patches of the rare Glenelg pomaderris (associated with the nearby Glenelg River) and will be cultivating a wider range of threatened species for future plantings.

A handful of seedlings – drooping she-oak, kangaroo grass, Glenelg pomaderris and dryland tea-tree

The longer-term vision is to establish a vegetation corridor across the site, forming a potential link with remnant vegetation to the north east (toward Rennick State Forest). Other parts of the property will have patches of vegetation – linked in some areas – while still leaving plenty of open ground for native grasses and herbs. There are already large patches of native wood-sorrel (like a mini soursob), which is a fantastic food plant for the larvae of several invertebrates, including the threatened Grassland Copper butterfly.

Planting at Honeysuckle Airstrip, with a treated wild Pine in the background

At the end of August, we’re through most of our reveg plantings for 2021, we’ve saved the wetland edge at Mount Burr Swamp to be planted in September (please contact Bryan if you’re interested in coming along to help). As always, Mount Burr has a lot going on!

Thanks to our partners One Forty One, HVP, Mount Gambier City Council and Inter Soccer Club. And a huge thanks to our dedicated planting crew Dale, Angus, Sheryl, Becci, Ryan and Elle.

Jonathan Tuck