USYD Landcare volunteers go to the stunning Capertee Valley, NSW 1-3 June 2018

Four USYD Landcare volunteers assisted the Landcare ‘branch’ of the Sydney Land Rover Owners Club as part of their continued dedication to tree planting and watering in the Capertee Valley, as part a 10-year long project restoring threatened regent honeyeater habitat with Capertee Valley Landcare and Birdlife Australia.

By Bruce Tran, USYD Landcare, 17 June 2018

The drive to Glen Alice was early, and cold. But the stunning scenery and beautiful Capertee Valley set the scene for a good Landcare trip. We arrived at Glen Alice about 20 minutes past the scheduled time, at a little property about 104 ha. Not a very large property but not any less beautiful. We learnt that the young owners had purchased the overgrazed property about 2 years ago. Over those 2 years, they had destocked and allowed the land to regenerate. They introduced 7 Scottish highland cattle to the farm; low-impact breeds that don’t damage the land extensively. Two beehives added to this consciously gentle land regeneration operation. It was certainly interesting learning about the land we’d be working on.

Following a relatively dry autumn, the trees planted in the previous Landcare needed some extra water to increase their chance of survival. And what we had to do this was:
•           3 Land Rover Defenders
•           3 1000L water tanks
•           About 15 volunteers

Tanks were filled using water from the dam, sourced from bore water. With 2-3 volunteers in tow with each Land Rover, we went off to water the plants. A total of 3000 trees was to be watered, with two volunteers on each side of a 1000L water tank towed behind the 4WDs driving in between treeline rows. Working efficiently (and having quite some fun!) we were finished by around 3pm - a very solid effort. When we had some free time to talk, we spent that taking photos and enjoying the wonderful scenery, a scene far removed from the city – slow, relaxing and peaceful. It’s probably my favourite part of Landcare.

We left the farm between 4 – 5 pm and made our way to the lodgings, a quaint little cottage 20 minutes north of the farm. Dinner was a relaxing affair with BBQ, wine and Uno. The early morning sunset was stunning, watching the sun slowly peeking from behind the mountains and illuminating the sky above surrounded by the Blue Mountains circling 360 degrees around the Capertee Valley.