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    Protecting Grassy Eucalypt Woodland on our farm with a Conservation Covenant

    Written by Timothy Johnston & Julie Cameron

    Photo for the Protecting Grassy Eucalypt Woodland on our farm with a Conservation Covenant blog

    Protecting Grassy Eucalypt Woodland on our farm with a Conservation Covenant

    5th of June is World Environment Day, an initiative by the United Nations to encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.

    Our vision at Meredith Dairy is to “Produce Food Sustainably”. To achieve this, we need to consider three aspects: environmental, social and economic. On our farm we “raise animals, produce milk and make accessible, safe, quality dairy products”. To achieve this “we tread lightly on this earth, allowing the environment and our community to flourish”.

    Meredith Dairy is situated within the Victorian Volcanic Plains (VVP). The VVP is home to Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands and Temperate Native Grassland, which are considered endangered ecosystems with less than 1% of the original ecology remaining. It is home of some unique flora and fauna mostly considered endangered due to land clearing and past farming practices. 

    The Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands are biorich open areas with scattered Eucalypts, many of which can be hundreds of years old. The understory can contain scattered shrubs and a variety of native grasses, herbs, and wildflowers. These areas provide critical habitat for a variety of animals including the endangered Fat-tailed Dunnarts, Striped Legless Lizards, Golden Sun Moths and Growling Grass Frogs.

    Meredith Dairy’s founders, Julie and Sandy Cameron, have initiated a Conservation Covenant, via Trust For Nature. This Covenant will protect, promote and preserve this unique landscape for eternity.  

    The covenant area includes 72 hectares and is managed via a Stewardship Program and assessed by The Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research.  The protection activities, restoration initiatives and biodiversity gains are monitored and recorded annually.  

    Activities include:

    • retaining all standing trees and fallen timber
    • controlling pest plants and animals
    • ecological burning to manage biomass build up and grassy weeds
    • surveys of diversity
    Dom Murphy, one of Meredith Dairy’s Environmental Coordinators, manages an ecological burn. (Photo: Timothy Johnston)
    Ecological burns are crucial to manage the biomass and encourage the growth of native species. (Photo: Timothy Johnston)

    A conservation covenant (deed of covenant) is a voluntary, legal agreement made between a private landowner and Trust for Nature. Its purpose is to permanently conserve and protect the natural, cultural, and scientific values of the land. These protections remain in place and the land is protected for life.

    Some native grasses and flowers on Grassy Eucalypt Woodland (Photos: Julie Cameron)