Shelter belts: what worked and what didn't

Learning time: Some members of the Bowning-Bookham Landcare Group listening to Graham Fifield (second from left). Photo: supplied.
Learning time: Some members of the Bowning-Bookham Landcare Group listening to Graham Fifield (second from left). Photo: supplied.

The Bowning-Bookham Landcare group recently held a workshop at Alan Cole’s property on Grace’s Flat Road, Bowning to view a range of tree lanes which have been planted in the last ten years.

Shelter belts are an important component of a landholders tool kit to provide shelter for stock.

They also provide habitat and food sources for small birds and mammals as well as allowing such small animals to move through the landscape.

Alan’s prized shelter belt resided on the top of a hill and was an impressive eight lanes wide.

In the middle of this 10 year old hill top tree lane, it was very quiet (except for bird songs), at least five degrees warmer than the temperature outside the lane and a haven for birds and small mammals.

The understory grass is also crash grazed once or twice a year for short periods to keep it short and as a fire protection measure.

Graham Fifield from Greening Australia provided landcare members with advice on how to orientate tree lanes, the advantages of wide lanes planted with a variety of Eucalyptus and native shrubs, and the importance of fencing to protect from stock.

Earlier this year the Bowning-Bookham Landcare group won a grant from Eucalyptus Australia to propagate and plant local Eucalyptus species.

The Eucalyptus trees are grown locally from locally sourced seed, and subject to the full weather conditions of this region.