AUSTRALIAN LANDSCAPE TRUST PROJECTS
Strathfieldsaye Estate in Central Gippsland is a 2100 hectare grazing property founded in the squatting era of the 1840's. William Odell Raymond arrived two years after the area was first seen by Europeans in 1840 who came in a party led by Angus McMillan. In 1842 Raymond established his run on the Avon River at Stratford where he also founded the Shakespeare Hotel. In 1848 he also settled nearby Strathfieldsaye Estate. After Raymond’s death, the property change hands, eventually being purchased by the Disher family in 1869. Three generations of Dishers lived at Strathfieldsaye for 107 years.
In 1976 Dr H C Disher bequeathed the property with his Strathfieldsaye Institute to the University of Melbourne. In 2003 ALT became responsible for the Disher Will through a Cy Pres order from the Supreme Court of Victoria in which ALT followed the University in the role of discharging responsibilities of the Strathfieldsaye Institute and the management of the property. Dr Disher’s vision for the Institute was ahead of its time. He sought to use his resources to provide new knowledge to benefit the local farming community. ALT interpreted this mandate to be pursuit of sustainable primary production.
Strathfieldsaye Estate is heritage listed at the local, state and national levels. It is regarded as having the longest continuous occupation of a farm in Victoria. Its built environment includes a homestead, outbuildings, garden and landscape of a property that reflects over 150 years of European occupation. Care of these resources is shared with volunteers from the community.
Strathfieldsaye Estate’s agricultural challenges are typical of farms in the area and provide examples of the environmental and economic issues of the region. Many of those issues involve soil management and landscape function which have been impacted by decades of high input, high intensity agricultural practices, clearing native vegetation (approximately 3% remains on private land, 5% on public land), salinisation of the Gippsland Lakes and the erratic climate.
Our Projects - Riverland
Calperum & Taylorville Stations
In South Australia, the Riverland program is based at Calperum Station a short drive north east of Renmark.
ALT manages Calperum Station (242,800 hectares) and neighbouring Taylorville Station (92,600 hectares) in the South Australian Riverland under contract to the Commonwealth Director of National Parks. Both properties are declared as critical habitat for species conservation under the Commonwealth legislation. In addition, Calperum Station includes the western portion of the internationally important Riverland Ramsar wetlands.
The key management vision for the properties is “to promote the conservation and sustainable development of Calperum and Taylorville Stations through community involvement, local capacity-building and innovative approaches to land management”.
To achieve these visions ALT runs a number of innovative programs:
All of Calperum and Taylorville’s programs rely on the willingness of community members to volunteer their time and effort in support. Over more than a decade of shared management responsibility, volunteers have consistently donated around 10,000 hours a year to looking after Calperum and Taylorville Stations.
This extraordinary level of community engagement is cited by world-renowned author Jared Diamond in his best-selling book ‘Collapse- How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed’ as an example of a community choosing to succeed.
ALT also partners with other organisations and agencies with shared goals, such as the South Australian Murray Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Board, schools and educational institutions, local governments and economic development groups to expand and improve its activities.
View our current Riverland Projects...
Our Projects - Gippsland
The East Gippsland region is subject to a range of environmental changes including:
ALT's work at Strathfieldsaye seeks to address these issues and provide solutions for the local farming community.
Research and monitoring programs bring together community volunteers, ALT 's own research staff, academic researchers and a range of partner agencies. Current activities incorporate long-term monitoring programs and targeted research activities investigating areas of particular concern for the region. Ongoing programs include a range of annual biological surveys and threatened species monitoring progams. In recent years, significant projects researching carbon cycling in mallee woodlands, groundwater salinity on the Calperum floodplain and new appoarches to vegetation restoration have been established in collaboration with a range of partners.
Under Calperum and Taylorville Stations' innovative Paddock Adoption Scheme the properties are divided into 'paddocks' - ranging from 6000 to 60,000 hectares.
Community volunteers assume long-term responsibilities for key landscape management tasks within a paddock, planning and undertaking key tasks such as feral animal control, track maintenance and landscape condition monitoring. The Trust supports them in these tasks by providing equipment, training and expert advice as required.
Education and capacity building are high priority activities for ALT. In 2009-2010, ALT supported delivery of over 3,100 person-days of accredited training - either with its own staff and resources or through partnerships with other organisations.
Current activites include:
We have a range of accommodation facilities:
Low-impact camp sites on the Calperum floodplain for casual visitors and organised groups.
Air-conditioned dormitory accommodation and associated facilities for groups of up to 40 at Calperum Station especially designed for educational users such as school groups and university field trips.
Remote area accommodation for researchers and work groups on both Calperum and Taylorville Stations.
Calperum and Taylorville Stations are home to a great many native species. Our current list of native species includes:
78 reptiles and amphibians
Among these are a number of rare, threatened or endangered species, including the Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa), Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis) and the Little Pied Bat (Chalinolobu picatus) as well as iconic species such as Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) and Murray Cod (Maccullichella peelii).
The need to preserve and protect this biodiversity is widely recognised. The wetlands and floodplain of Calperum Station that link the Murray River to the mallee woodlands are part of the Riverland Ramsar site - one of five South Australian wetlands of international significance designated under the Ramsar Convention.
Most of the remainder of Calperum Station (242.800 ha), and all of Taylorville Station (92,600 ha) are listed as critical habitat for the endangered Black-eared Miner (Manorina melanotis) under Commonwealth legislation.
Alex Randell works in partnership with Country Arts SA and the Australian Landscape Trust as our Arts and Environment Officer. Alex works with Riverland and Mallee communities from her base at Calperum Station. Her program is focused on helping to secure a future for natural environments and biodiversity and a valued role for artists by using the affective (emotional) and transformative power of art and storytelling to shape a wide-spread culture of respect for local natural landscapes and biodiversity, and for the science of understanding the way ecosystems function. Alex has a background in biodiversity science, animal behaviour and fine arts. She would love to hear from you and help you to make arts and environment projects happen and to share information. Her contact details are:Alex RandellArts & Environment OfficerMobile 0456 531 firstname.lastname@example.org