Cross Property Planning project

The Cross Property Planning project is a six-year community Landcare project to protect and enhance native vegetation in the central Murrumbidgee region of NSW. The region was extensively cleared for agriculture, with the remaining native vegetation (less than 5% of the total area) now existing in small, scattered patches on multiple tenures. This project, funded through the Australian Government’s Biodiversity Fund and the NSW Environmental Trust’s Community Bush Regeneration Fund, aims to link and enhance the fragmented remnants across property boundaries to preserve biodiversity and retain wildlife habitat.

We have 76 neighbouring landholders engaged in the project, in three cross-property groups, covering over 58,000 hectares. The groups are based in the Kyeamba, Humula and Junee districts. The local Landcare networks in each district are closely involved with the project and have helped direct it, right from the initial project development stages. This local ownership has been integral to the project’s success, and has allowed information to be communicated effectively both to and from landholders.

The initial stages of the project involved the preparation of cross-property plans for each group. Using mapping and an evaluation of the biodiversity attributes of each property, the plans elicited the most effective contribution each property could make to habitat connectivity. The plans were used to guide protection, revegetation and management activities on each property, with incentive funding provided to landholders to undertake these works. To date, 693 hectares has been revegetated and 672 hectares of remnant vegetation has been protected. In addition, almost 14,000 hectares has been managed for weeds, and over 28,000 hectares managed for pests.

An extensive program of workshops, field days and other activities has been a feature of the project. All events were delivered in response to direct requests or interest from project landholders, but were open to all members of the community, in order to broaden the project’s reach. We have so far conducted over 50 events, involving 17 partner organisations and attracting over 880 community members. The social aspects of the activities were very important in building and strengthening relationships between local landholders.

Other key aspects of the project include: a series of research trials to link landholders with current scientific developments; flora and fauna surveys on landholder’s properties; a series of surveys to understand landholder knowledge, goals and practices in relation to native vegetation management; and the production of a comprehensive range of publications that document project learnings and landholder stories.

The Cross Property Planning project has been incredibly successful in both natural resource outcomes and the reinvigoration of community connections. We offer the following points as critical success factors:

  1. The security of six year funding;
  2. The combination of on-ground works with educational and social aspects, to connect landholders involved in the project;
  3. The ability of project officers to build rapport with landholders, and respect the need to balance conservation with sustainable and profitable production.

For more information about the CPP project, including links to the many resources produced through the project, visit our webpages at: