University of Tasmania

08/12/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/11/2019 23:39

Students plant to help restore farm biodiversity

A group of Year 9 students from Hobart's Friends School rolled up their sleeves today (Monday 12 August 2019) to help establish biodiversity plantings on a southern farming property.

The farm at Richmond is at the forefront of regenerative agriculture, which focuses on holistic practices that increase biodiversity and soil health, eliminating the need for pesticides and herbicides.

The planting day is the result of a partnership between Greening Australia and the ARC Centre for Forest Value at the University of Tasmania.

Dr Peter Harrison is a forest geneticist from the Centre for Forest Value. He said the plantings assist in re-establishing and boosting biodiversity.

'The students are helping establish a diverse planting of multiple species which are local to the region and range from grasses and shrubs through to trees,' said Dr Harrison.

The plantings will double as shelter belts for livestock and crops, which can result in improved livestock health and increased crop yields.

The biodiversity plantings are part of Greening Australia's contribution to the Federal Government's 20 Million Trees Program.

Nel Smit, Greening Australia's education coordinator, said the plantings support Greening Australia's Island Ark project.

'Together with landholders and University researchers, Greening Australia is working to recreate 15,000 hectares of habitat across Tasmania to create a stronghold for our endangered wildlife and connect people and nature, while revitalising local farming communities. Schools are playing an active role in this work,' she said.

The Friends' students are part of a Landcare Group, which undertakes a range of activities from helping clean foreshores to germination experiments.

Pictured: Year 9 Friends' students with Jimmy Collinson from Greening Australia (back row, far left); Peter Harrison from Centre for Forest Value (back row, second left) and Peter Smythe from Friends' School (back row, second from right).

Published on: 12 Aug 2019 2:28pm