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Nature Conservation Assistance Program

Helping landholders to restore bushland on private property.

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Nature Conservation Assistance Program - Peter and Carolyn Burford

Petsch Creek in Tallebudgera Valley property of Peter and Carolyn BurfordWhen Peter and Carolyn Burford bought their two-hectare Tallebudgera Valley property 12 years ago, they weren’t too sure what they were getting themselves into. They knew they had a creek hidden among the weeds - they could hear it after all. But the thought of actually seeing it was tantalising. Firstly though, they would have to fight their way through all that lantana.

Initially despairing, thinking that ‘ordinary suburban folk couldn’t handle it’, they joined Land for Wildlife to gain advice on how to restore their property from a weed infested, degraded banana farm, to the original rainforest. By 2012, with the support and inspiration gained through their 11-year involvement in Land for Wildlife - along with a lot of their own blood, sweat and tears - Peter and Carolyn had restored not only the magnificent creek that once lay hidden but also an extra hectare back to subtropical rainforest.

While amazed and thrilled with the fruits of their labour, the fact that they had another hectare of lantana and molasses grass to go had them concerned. They were beginning to wonder whether they would get through it. Then in 2012 the City of Gold Coast launched its Nature Conservation Assistance Program (NCAP). The program supports private landholders, like the Burfords, who restore bushland on their own property and in turn, contribute to the city’s biodiversity and wildlife habitat.

NCAP recipients Carolyn and Peter Burford

The Burfords submitted an application and were successful in obtaining $8000 of funding to restore the back portion of their property. During the assessment stage, their property was deemed as one of high conservation value as it lies in the Currumbin Critical Corridor (a major wildlife corridor) and adjoins large tracts of intact vegetation, including a Council Conservation Area. The property provides habitat to rare and threatened species and is also significant in having a vegetation type mapped as ‘of concern’ by State Government. The Burfords’ commitment to restoring native habitat and ability to maintain initial restoration works, to ensure weeds don’t re-establish, contributed to their successful application.

With the NCAP funding, the Burfords used bushland restoration contractors to carry out initial lantana control. Over the coming years the Burfords will provide follow-up weed control to discourage weed regrowth and encourage natural regeneration. Because their property is so well connected to existing bushland, they do not need to plant and instead, will rely on the native seed bank to revegetate their property. Recipients of NCAP funding are required to make a co-contribution to their project, either in the form of in-kind or cash. The Burfords’ many hours of weed control will be considered as in-kind labour and will exceed the program’s requirement.

The Burfords are grateful for the funding as it has allowed them to make rapid gains in habitat restoration, seeing their project close to completion. While the on-going maintenance will be hard work, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. They enjoy a thriving subtropical rainforest as their own backyard and the knowledge that their efforts are contributing to the conservation of the city’s biodiversity gives great satisfaction.

The images below are of one section of the NCAP project area (left) before lantana control and (right) after lantana control. The Burfords will provide follow-up weed control that will assist the area to naturally regenerate with native species.

After lantana control, the land is ready for native forest regeneration


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