Property management and the environment
There are simple steps a new landholder can take to maintain and improve the natural environment on their property. This page looks at how fallen timber and single paddock trees can become habitats for native wildlife, and how you can find out more about environmental property management.
Fallen timber on your property
Fallen timber and ground litter (leaves and twigs) are vital to the health of our environment. This material provides hiding, basking and nesting places, homes for insects, and a source of food for animals and birds. It also plays an important role in the recycling of nutrients into the soil as it slowly decomposes.
Fallen timber complements other forms of habitat, such as rocky outcrops, and can provide important 'stepping stones' for safe passage of wildlife across the landscape.
Patches of brightly coloured fungi growing on a piece of fallen timber contribute to the recycling of nutrients back into the soil to nourish the next generation of plants.
'Messy' branches touching the ground are important avenues of access for animals such as goannas and snakes. Once in a large tree like this one, they can forage for insects, birds eggs and hatchlings, which helps to keep a balance in nature.
Creating 'fallen timber lots' on your property is a feasible way to provide an important resource in one place.
Relocating fallen timber away from fire prone areas is a safe way to provide for the many species which depend on it.
Single paddock trees
As well as providing vital shade and shelter for domestic stock, single paddock trees provide valuable habitat for insects, birds and bats, are an important genetic resource for natural regeneration and seed collection, and provide crucial 'stepping stones' across agricultural landscapes for wildlife to safely move through.
Paddock trees provide a convenient and cost effective resource for natural revegetation and will willingly regenerate if protected once the pressure of stock has been removed.
Paddock trees help reduce wind speed close to ground level, providing important shelter for stock, pasture and the soil.
When flowering, large old paddock trees provide a valuable resource of nectar and pollen for native birds, including the Regent Honeyeater and Swift parrot. These birds are highly mobile, and rely on a network of trees to move throughout the landscape to make the most of where flowering is abundant. The loss of paddock trees can soon result in the loss of these endangered species.
Looking after the land you love
There are various ways to go that 'extra mile' in looking after your property, whether you have just a few acres, or hundreds.
Land for Wildlife
Established in 1981, Land for Wildlife is a voluntary program with over 6000 properties participating throughout Victoria. The aim of the program is to recognise and support landholders voluntarily protecting habitats for wildlife on their land.
Land For Wildlife is completely voluntary, free, and is not legally binding.
Learn more about the Land for Wildlife program.
Trust for Nature
A not-for-profit statutory organisation, Trust for Nature works with landholders to voluntarily place conservation covenants on their land, permanently protecting significant areas of natural bushland.
To find your nearest Trust for Nature officer, call 1800 99 99 33 (FreeCall Australia).
A Section 173 Agreement is a legal contract made between Council and another party (or parties) under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act (1987).
Of its many functions, a Section 173 may be used to protect stands of native vegetation.
Section 173 Agreements are usually prepared by a solicitor with Council guidance, and is registered on the title to the land, ensuring all future owners are aware of and are bound by the requirements, such as protecting native vegetation or other natural features.
For more information on Section 173, contact your Council.