Field Days 2018

Martindale April 2018

Our first field day for 2018 had to be rearranged at the last minute, and indeed this visit to Martindale, in the Upper Hunter, did not disappoint.

Framed by stunning escarpments in a broad valley, this is indeed a picturesque corner of the Lower Blue Mountains.

Trevor and Marion steered a small, but very enthusiastic, group through there plantation areas, their regrowth areas, and their PVP, covering off all 4 points off the compass.

 

Previously a cattle property, it has not been without its challenges, one of which is regrowth management, now that the grazing herd is no longer in the ecosystem. This was a conscious decision made by Trevor and Marion, and on the drive to Martindale, it was so pleasant after thousands of acres of flat, bare grassland, to arrive at a well-balanced, tree-lined healthy looking farm.

After the social occasion that is the meet and greet, Trevor gave all a valuable “look back in time” by taking us to the plantation area that was well in to 2nd thinning. One of the great benefits of the network, is that it allows you to learn from others lessons, by understanding the current impact of decisions made many years ago.

A notable point was in order to have the most likelihood of success and a good degree of quality, the seedlings were grown from seed originally harvested directly off the property.

Trevor and Marion’s wealth of knowledge, and deep understanding and connection with their full landscape, means they acknowledge they would perhaps have made some decisions differently.

But how exciting to see the plantation areas at 2nd thinning, developing in to clean, straight wood. It was noted that it can be easy to focus on the stems, and neglect the understory, however these two are taking steps to address this by thinning and letting more light in to ground level.

One of the true highlights was Trevor’s in-depth explanation of the precision required for safe, collateral-damage-free timber felling, even with the smaller saplings that are removed during thinning. There is one right way do to so, and there are an infinite number of wrong ways, but there are no second chances.

An exceptional hill side stroll was next, which included locating some of the 7 wildlife camera’s that are installed on the property. This piece of land backs on to Wollombi National park, and as good custodians of the land, Trevor and Marion are looking for signs of pest wildlife, in addition to surveying the native fauna. A very good demonstration and explanation of wildlife cameras was provided, including, features, usage, ease of access, etc. Back at lunch, photos of native and feral wildlife were harvested off the memory cards, a process well worth pursuing to gain a better understanding of the total ecosystem that is the land that you steward.

After a further plantation section, we visited the regrowth management area, which had an over-abundance of Casuarina. Trevor described the process he was going through, and the reasons for doing so – valuable lessons for all.

A beautiful day, with an exceptional backdrop of lower Blue Mountain escarpments, and another successful, knowledge and conversation-filled day.

Thank you to Trevor and Marion for hosting at such short notice.

 

 

Hunter Farm Forestry Network (HFFN) facilitates the exchange of information related to farm forestry; and promotes the productive and sustainable use of trees on farms in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia.

contacts

PRESIDENT

Simon White

 

VICE PRESIDENT

Jodan Hanbury-Brown

 

SECRETARY

Trevor Woolley

 

TREASURER

Ishbel Searle