Rural Landholder Initiative seeks to assist landholders through incentives and education

The Rural Landholder Initiative is an integral part of Council’s Biodiversity Management Strategy and is designed to conserve biodiversity hotspots on private land through education and incentives.

The project has been funded by a $100,000 grant from the NSW Environment Trust and a contribution of $50,000 from Council for landholder incentives.

In 2015, we called for interested landholders to get involved in the Rural Landholder Initiative. We now have more than 20 landholders who have become ‘champions’ for the Rural Landholder Initiative and 11 restoration projects are taking place on their properties during 2016. The landholders will help undertake on-ground works and host field days (see below) to demonstrate best-practice land management techniques.

We are also producing a range of education materials on the major environmental issues for five landholder types: beef grazers, dairy farmers, orchardists (e.g. macadamia growers), floodplain croppers (e.g. sugar cane growers) and ‘lifestyle’ landholders (e.g. non-commercial rural landholders). These booklets include a Farm Health Assessment Tool so that landholders can self-assess if their practices are out-dated, common place or best practice.

Please find below the complete set of Rural Landholder Initiative education booklets and a full list of field days being held in 2016. The days are free with morning tea and lunch provided but bookings are essential. To book, phone Council's Rural Extension Officer Kate Steel on 1300 87 83 87.

To get a feel for our field days, view the videos below.

Video: Georgica Field Day – Rural Lifestyle and Biodiversity

Video: Whian Whian Field Day – Mixed Orchards and Biodiversity

Video: Coraki Field Day – Floodplain Cropping and Biodiversity

Video: Boarharbour Field Day – Grazing and Biodiversity in our Water Catchments


Book 1: Healthy landscapes and waterways

Book 2: Beef grazing and dairying

Book 3: Macadamias and other orchards

Book 4: Floodplain cropping


Bexhill Dairy and Biodiversity Field Day
Wednesday, 23 March, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Active management of a wetland, situated at a dairy farm on Coopers Creek.
Who should attend: Beef and dairy farmers as well as local rural lifestyle landholders in the Coopers Creek catchment wanting to improve waterways and soil biology for improved production.

Rosebank Rural Lifestyle Biodiversity Field Day
Friday, 29 April, 9am to 2pm
Focus: How small rural lifestyle blocks fit into the broader ecological landscape and how restoration can help connect wildlife and habitat corridors.
Who should attend: Rosebank landholders keen to make an impact on weeds and improve habitat on their properties. Also people new to the north-eastern catchments who want to better understand rainforest restoration processes and find community support.

Monaltrie Grazing with Biodiversity and Solar Off-stream Watering Field Day
Thursday, 12 May, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Riparian restoration through active revegetation, grazing exclusion, and habitat renewal. This field day will be conducted with the Office and Environment and Heritage, which will demonstrate solar pumping technology and NSW Farmers' renewable energy programs.
Who should attend: Graziers across the Lismore Local Government Area interested in energy efficient technology and cost savings, soil health improvement, strategic grazing and floodplain riverbank stabilisation.

Tregeagle Macadamia Orchard and Biodiversity Field Day
Thursday, 2 June, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Staged removal of woody weeds including camphor laurel to demonstrate ‘camphor conversion’ methodology and techniques, and revegetation with local native species.
Who should attend: Orchardists, including macadamia farmers, with Big Scrub remnants on their property or interest in creek rehabilitation or the cost and production benefits of enhancing native bushland. Other local rural lifestyle landholders interested in habitat restoration.

Georgica Rural Lifestyle Biodiversity Field Day
Friday, 10 June, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Long-term restoration of ex-grazing land, landscape restoration and habitat connectivity.
Who should attend: New and old landholders in the Georgica/Jiggi catchments with questions about practical aspects of ecological rehabilitation and seeking community support.

Blue Knob Bell Miner Associated Dieback Management Field Day
Thursday, 23 June, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Management of bell minor associated dieback (BMAD) through lantana control and understorey revegetation.
Who should attend: Landholders in the northern catchments who want to understand actions necessary to mitigate against BMAD and find community support.

Gundurimba Lowland Cropping and Biodiversity Field Day
Friday, 22 July, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Riverbank restoration and whole farm planning for biodiversity and habitat connectivity.
Who should attend: Farmers and graziers along the Wilsons River interested in restoring riverbanks and habitat through tree planting and low-disturbance bank stabilisation techniques.

Whian Whian Mixed Orchard and Biodiversity Field Day
Friday, 29 July, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Restoring Big Scrub rainforest habitat, health and connectivity in a productive orchard.
Who should attend: Orchardists in the Dunoon-Whian Whian area interested in restoration of a farm’s natural and biological assets including biological and chemical control techniques of weeds in sensitive ecological sites.

Coraki Lowland Cropping and Biodiversity Field Day (Cane)
Friday, 12 August, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Floodplain riverbank restoration and maintenance on a productive cane farm.
Who should attend: Cane farmers in the Lismore Local Government Area with interest in river health and how to undertake significant weed control, revegetation and maintenance along the riverbank.

Lindendale Mixed Land Use Biodiversity Field Day
Thursday, 25 August, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Big Scrub remnant protection and restoration.
Activities: Local landholders with an interest in the history of the Big Scrub and remnant bushland restoration. New lifestyle landholders in the Marom Creek catchment seeking advice on how to sustainably manage small properties (weed identification and control, native species identification, active maintenance, and how to incorporate productive uses into small farms).

Boatharbour Beef Grazing and Biodiversity Field Day
Saturday, 17 September, 9am to 2pm
Focus: Wilsons River catchment revegetation, maintenance and grazing management in riparian areas.
Who should attend: Local cattle graziers and lifestyle landholders in the Wilsons River catchment seeking to contribute to water quality improvements and habitat values on their properties.

The Rural Landholder Initiative was developed based on findings in Southern Cross University’s Incentives Report (see below), the result of a 12-month research project into the best ways to engage landholders through incentives. This included a landholder survey to find out what farmers wanted and how best Council could help them conserve natural assets on their land.

Incentives Report

Appendices to Incentives Report