Our natural environment is intrinsically valuable and intertwined with our shared cultural heritage.
Treat in the wheatbelt
Today, native species face significant threats from land clearing, weed invasion, pest animals, diseases, grazing and inappropriate fire regimes. Yet, when the flowers bloom it is an incredible site and in 2021 Western Australia turned on an amazing flora display.
The Wheatbelt was a wonderful place for our Natural Heritage Officer, Botanist Diana Papenfus, to conduct stewardship visits to covenanted places in the region. Perhaps you noticed a more vibrant floral-flourish in your neighbourhood or on your travels within Western Australia?
Through our Conservation Covenant Program, the National Trust is helping to protect around 10,500 hectares of bushland in the Wheatbelt, where land clearing has had a particularly damaging effect on native vegetation and endangered species.
Bloom in decline
According to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, “about 60 per cent of native vegetation in the Wheatbelt’s Avon River Basin has been cleared since European settlement and an average of 2500 hectares have been approved for clearing per year since 2010.”
Unfortunately, while the native flora responded to the wet winter and spring so too did the weeds. These enemies of bushland were abundant among our native species.
The Covenant Program is unique in providing ongoing expert advice and support to land owners through regular stewardship visits. In 2021, Diana visited 15 covenanted bushland properties in the Wheatbelt and says, “Regular visits establish friendships, networks and an overview of landscape health.”
“It is fascinating listening to stories long-term land holders relate regarding their attachment to their property and rewarding connecting new owners to the significance of their covenant’s purpose.”
WA’s bushland wonders
Diana located some of our native treasures, which included the Star-leaf Grevillea (Grevillea asteriscosa) at North Burngup, the Tinsel Flower (Calytrix leschenaultia ) at Lake Grace as well as the Satin Everlasting (Helichrysum leucopsidem), located down south in Darkan.
Other highlights were a ‘pocket handkerchief’ bushland parcel in the Perth hills where more than 35 species were counted in one morning and an active ‘Cockatube’ on covenanted bushland near Newdegate.
Together we can make an impact
Maintaining the extraordinary biodiversity of Western Australia is essential to our collective wellbeing and it is vital that we all work together to manage, conserve and recover our native plants and animals.
You can help the National Trust raise awareness of the value of natural heritage. By volunteering and/or donating to our cause, you will help us:
- continue our Conservation Covenant and Stewardship Program
- work with communities to protect significant trees
- manage bushland at National Trust properties
- continue conservation and other activities that protect Western Australia’s internationally recognised biodiversity.
If you are a landowner or know of people who may be interested in bushland protection please contact our natural heritage team at email@example.com
Learn more about protecting our natural heritage
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