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Celebrating ten years of Landcare

A DECADE of volunteering was celebrated last week as the community gathered to mark the ten-year anniversary of the Barragal Landcare Group.

Hosted by Greater Sydney Local Land Services and Department of Primary Industries, the event recognised the environmental achievements of the group on the heritage-listed 1600 ha property at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI).

Greater Sydney Land Services officer Jenny Schabel said the members had worked tirelessly to protect wildlife values and restore native vegetation on the property over the past decade.

“Their vision has been to create a woodland corridor across EMAI linking the Nepean River to Razorback Range. In 2006 the group created a wide vegetation corridor across the paddocks near Bridgewater Estate with 2000 young native plants, ensuring the seedlings survived one of the driest springs on record by watering every three weeks until rain arrived,” she said. “Ten years on and these are now large trees and now more have been planted along Navigation Creek.”

Barragal Landcare Chair Shayne Fell is one of seven founding members still volunteering with the group today.

“Many people might not realise how many rare native animals and ecological systems call EMAI home, in 2006 a pair of wedge tailed eagles were spotted nesting on the property and we wanted to make sure they were protected. That is essentially how the group started and with the support of EMAI management we have been able to carry out extensive weed control projects including removal of African Olive, revegetation of the rare Cumberland Plain Woodland and the creation of the wildlife corridor,” he said.

Mr Fell said it was an honour to be a part of a Landcare group with a proud history and truly dedicated volunteers.

“We all get a genuine sense of satisfaction from the work we do and many great friendships have been formed over the years,” he said.

Ms Schabel said Greater Sydney Local Land Services is proud to have helped Barragal Landcare through support and funding assistance.

“We congratulate them on this incredible milestone and wish them all the best for the next 10 years of environmental work at EMAI,” Ms Schabel said.

Friday’s celebration at Belgenny Hall included lunch, presentations and field trips.

For further information about the Barragal Landcare Group email shayne.fell@dpi.nsw.gov.au

ENDS Media contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138 M: 0448 953 755