Much of our lives has been spent exploring and enjoying wild places. Living on a bush property had always been something we aspired to but this largely entailed periodic surfing the internet to see what was around. That is, until one day, a friend pointed out we weren’t getting any younger and, if we really wanted to move to a bush property, we had better do it sooner rather than later!
We purchased our property in 2013, moving there permanently in 2016, with the view to managing it for biodiversity values. Early on we joined Land for Wildlife.
The property is situated between Halls Gap and Stawell at the foot of the Mt Difficult range, to the West it abuts the Grampians National Park. Much of the 145-ha property would have been grazed since the 1870’s. It comprises partially cleared, but now fast-regenerating red gum floodplain (with many very large trees some of which have been culturally modified, one is the largest measured River Red Gum in Australia). The property also has Yellow Box/Red Gum woodland and Scentbarks.
An area of around 70 ha of mixed Yellow Box/Red Gum woodland has a medium to very dense bracken understory with glades of native grasses. There is a seasonal creek and a large seasonal wetland. We have recorded over 100 bird species including Diamond Firetails, Hooded Robins, Barking Owls, Powerful Owls, and Brown Treecreepers.
Over the years we have removed all internal fences, and barbed wire from most of our boundary fences, implemented a weed control and feral animal program, rehabilitated the wetland (which had been drained and was drying out too quickly) by placing a weir on the seasonal creek, and planted vegetation.
Main photo: Catherine and Clive Carlyle in front of one of the largest River Red Gums recorded in Australia.