Rural and semi-rural landholders turned up in force at a recent Heavenly Hectares workshop in Busselton. Over 50 keen landholders came along to learn the latest information on sustainably managing their properties at the workshop hosted by the City of Busselton and GeoCatch.
Rural property expert and author Chris Ferreira presented case studies and practical solutions to challenges faced by small property owners. He addressed local issues such as farming on sandy soils, setting up drought-tolerant properties to survive our long hot summers, pasture management, and weed control.
Identifying and controlling weeds and invasive species can be difficult for small landholders and hobby farmers, so Chris explained how woody weeds can be managed so they do not escape and outcompete native species in our bushland.
“Weeds like the Sydney golden wattle are often chosen as landscaping or screening plants but their seeds are easily spread into neighbouring bushland, where they can have devastating impacts,” said Chris.
“The message is, if you have weed species, deal with them now and be careful not to introduce any more”.
City of Busselton Environment Officer Will Oldfield was pleased with the audience’s interest and knowledge on weed control. “There are many alternative methods to control weeds depending on the conditions, the weed species and the crop or pasture you want to grow. You don’t always have to go for the herbicide as a quick fix”, said Will.
Property owner Bethany Williams, from Carbanup River, said she was going to do some things differently on her property after attending the workshop.
“I feel empowered to make a difference on my property, using a different approach to herbicides. I will be making a plan for individual weeds, and I now know what natvie plants to replace them with”, said Bethany.
GeoCatch’s Lisa Massey was delighted with the response from our local rural landowners and residents, as they play a considerable role in sustainably managing our catchment by controlling weeds and improving soil health.
“Our workshop attendees came with a high level of knowledge about managing their land. The workshop helped them to identify invasive weed species and the next steps in managing them”, said Lisa.
Heavenly Hectares workshops are designed to support small rural landholders and hobby farmers by providing information to manage their properties in a sustainable way. Since 1993 over 18,000 West Australian small landholders have attended the workshops.
The event was funded by the City of Busselton and the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program, as part of the City of Busselton GeoCatch Bushlands Connections Woody Weed Control Project.
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