Field Day May 2014

The HFFN field day on 18th May was held at Chris and Ishbel Searle’s property at Howes Valley.  From a site with initially only timber they have built their home, needing to use solar and rain water.  They have a Private Native Forest agreement on their land and plan to manage the forest using silviculture principles.

As the property is surrounded by National Parks, preventing fires was of concern.  Ken Ferguson from RFS and Keven Carter, an ex-forestry and National Parks employee spoke on the history and aims of low level burns, which had been recently carried out on the property.  They emphasised the importance of back burning from the top of the hill down, and thinning the forest from the ground up.  They named the five tree species known as The Royals in the forestry industry – ironbark, grey gum, turpentine, (all these grow in this area) tallow wood and white mahogany. These hardwoods were traditionally logged for railway sleepers and girders but are now in demand as high quality timber since the improvement in tools allows easier woodworking.  Chris has too many Angophoras and is removing some to allow the Royals to take over.

Craig Tate, HFFN President and a forestry consultant, spoke about grants being available, particularly for forest corridors to be established and biodiversity in forested land.

A brief meeting moved and accepted the new constitution.

picture MayMembers inspecting a low level burn

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

Farm Forestry takes many forms including timber belts, windbreaks, revegetation projects and timber production

Farm forestry includes  commercial trees and shrubs incorporated into farm operations.

Farm Forestry improves agricultural productivity.

It’s about which tree you want, for the purpose that you want.