Settlement complete, and hitting the airwaves to share the Walker Swamp Reserve expansion success story

As we reported last month, we successfully reached our funding target and were able to settle the strategic expansion of the Walker Swamp Restoration Reserve – debt free – with just a few days to spare. To those of you who have donated, volunteered or contributed in some other way over the years to help us establish or expand the Reserve, or previously contributed to the establishment of one of our other Reserves – thank you!

Looking back now, for a couple of months there things were a bit of a blur (to put it mildly!), as we worked around the clock to tackle the challenge of raising $500,000 in two months. Because NGT is a science-based NGO that doesn’t employ a dedicated fundraising team, for a few of us this meant a period of serious multi-tasking and a lot of behind the scenes work after hours to process and receipt more than 200 donations that eventually came in, as well as keep everyone informed along the way. On that note I would like to say a huge thank you to the three members of our team who have gone over and above their normal roles with NGT, in so many ways, over this time. Thank you Paula, Toni and Richard!

Of course everything over that time led us towards the 30th June 2023, and I am pleased to be able to share the news that settlement occurred successfully as planned – meaning that the land addition to Walker Swamp is now complete. This means that the Walker Swamp Restoration Reserve is a total of approximately 1500 acres in size, and includes a magnificent 200 acre area of threatened remnant Manna Gum mixed woodland that will now be permanently de-stocked and managed for conservation.

The magnificent area of threatened remnant Manna Gum mixed woodland that will now be permanently de-stocked and managed for conservation. Photo: Mark Bachmann

But that is only part of the story, as there is also a part of the land addition that is perfectly suited to a future large-scale revegetation project. Eventually, this is going to enable us to almost double the size of the remnant woodland patch and provide fantastic additional habitat for the wildlife that call this area home, or might one day return, from the nearby Grampians National Park.

The newly acquired parcel of land adjacent to Walker Swamp, includes this cleared area in the foreground that was previously planted to blue gum plantations that will be available for a future woodland revegetation project. Photo: Mark Bachmann

A short time after settlement, on the 6th of July, it was great to be able to conclude the successful fundraiser with a short chat on ABC South West Victoria, for their breakfast radio program, with host Steve Martin.

To take a listen to our conversation, please use the player below:

Beyond the financial dimension of the Walker Swamp land addition, as vital as that is, it has been a huge morale boost to everyone at NGT to know that we have this type of community support for our work to repair key parts of our landscape. So on behalf of everyone at NGT, a very big and heartfelt thank you!

Finally, if you can just give us a month or so now to catch our breath, we’ll be in touch after that with the details of our get-together out at Walker Swamp in the spring. We look forward to exploring this new part of the reserve together and sharing this experience with you!

Mark Bachmann