Lardner Park farm forestry site getting a makeover
11 September 2023
Victoria’s oldest farm forestry demonstration site is being restored through a partnership between VicForests, Gippsland Agroforestry Network and Lardner Park.
The site, established in 1978, occupies six hectares at the northern end of Lardner Park and was initially planted by APM Forests, Forests Commission Victoria, Warragul Technical School and the Department of Agriculture, with support from other companies and organisations servicing agriculture and forestry.
VicForests Senior Farm Forestry Officer Trevor Nicklen said once completed, the site would be home to a series of farm forest plantation plots.
“These plots will demonstrate the management and performance of farm forestry species that are known or thought to establish and grow successfully on a range of sites in West and South Gippsland,” Mr Nicklen said.
“VicForests, along with the Gippsland Agroforestry Network, will then create opportunities to educate farmers about the benefits of farm forestry through various field days, forums and publications.”
With support from the Gippsland Agroforestry Network and Lardner Park, VicForests are restoring the site by investing about $80,000 into the management of the site.
The completed restoration will see:
a 10-year management plan for the site
new species planted
upgrades and management of existing plantations
development of new interpretation boards.
Site preparation has already commenced to prepare for planting of a Spotted Gum tree and pasture site, Spotted Gum and Black Wattle timber-belt and a Sheoak environmental belt that will commence in early September.
Soil tests have been conducted on the planting site to measure nutritional status and determine fertilizer requirements specific for growing trees.
Since 2021, VicForests has awarded grants through its Gippsland Farm Forestry Program to 26 landholders across Gippsland to assist in planning, establishing and managing a total of 361 hectares of new farm forests.
The Gippsland-based program seeks to support the integration of timber trees within the context of a whole farm plan, ensuring these trees play a vital role in improving the broad range of economic, environmental, social, and cultural values within and around the farming landscape.
The grants are funded by the Victorian Government, which is incentivising tree planting at the farm scale through to much larger commercial plantations.
Further grant opportunities are expected to become available later this year.