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Campaign culminates in conservation conversation

A year-long campaign aimed at helping city-based rural property owners manage and protect their land will culminate in a conservation conversation on Thursday, 16 June.

The Conservation on Rural Properties workshop will mark the final event in Greater Sydney Local Land Services absentee-landholder project which has seen more than 320 Sydney-siders, who also own rural property, informed on best practice land management.

Project manager Angela Maier said the campaign had given landowners access to the latest expert advice on topics such as pest species management, native vegetation, productivity and more.

“Our aim has always been to help people who live and work in the city manage their rural properties from a distance. There are thousands of absentee-landholders across Sydney grappling with challenges unique to their property. Often if issues aren’t addressed it can result in weed, pest and productivity problems that impact their land as well as neighbouring properties,” she said.

Someone very familiar with sustainable land management from a distance is John McNiven. Together with his wife and four children, John has lived and worked in Elizabeth Bay while also owning a 150 acre waterfront property on the McDonald River in the Hawkesbury Valley for more than 10 years.

With the help of a land manager and support from Greater Sydney Local Land Services, John has worked to restore and revegetate the riverbank along his property to address erosion issues and encourage growth of native flora and fauna.

“When we first purchased the property we noticed significant degradation of the riverbank as a result of cattle grazing and it was our goal to rehabilitate and restore it,” he said. “We started by fencing along the riverbank and gradually introduced new native plants. It has been a significant commitment and is not something that can be achieved overnight but the results really speak for themselves.

“What we have now is a visually stunning, vibrant landscape of native vegetation that provides habitat for a variety of animals as well as shade and shelter for our family to enjoy, we take great pride in the difference we have been able to make.”

John will share more of his story at the final workshop to be held at the Dougherty Community Centre, Chatswood from 6.15pm.

Register online by 14 June 2016 by visiting or ph.: 02) 4724 2127 for further information.

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