One-third of this farm in Woomargama on Wiradjuri country (Southern NSW) is made up of very rare, box gum grassy woodland, and is protected by a permanent conservation agreement.
Clare Cannon may have spent most of her childhood weekends on the farm, but her experience working in investment banking and setting up Australia’s first Earth Watch office hasn’t gone astray in running her 2,631-hectare farm.
She runs hereford cattle and fine wool merino on the farm, and can still graze her livestock for six months of the year, which is then allowed to regenerate for the following six months.
Clare is so proud of the protected area that she calls it the “jewel in the crown” of the property – although when the covenant on the land was proposed, not everyone in the family was as keen. There were concerns that the agreement would reduce the value of the property.
Clare was able to see the longer-term potential of this move. With consumers expecting and willing to pay for more environmentally friendly products, conservation agreements can create a competitive advantage for some farmers.
“One of the ways we have marketed Woomargama Station is through its biodiversity. We are setting the way for farmers, giving them confidence you can be profitable and have a covenant.”
Fencing, tree planting, and waterways restoration have helped Clare’s livestock by providing food and shelter but has also provided a future for native plants and animals on her land. The very rare box gum grassy woodland is home to a wide variety of species that can now safely call the farm home – a legacy passed down to her from her parents who planted more than 100,000 trees on the farm and secured a future for box gum grassy woodlands of Woomargama.
Protecting the Masked Owl
The vulnerable masked owl is the second-largest owl (the largest is the powerful owl) and is darker and larger than the more common Barn Owl. The Masked owl lives in open woodland (like the box gum grassy woodland of Woomargama), in the hollows of tall trees. It perches on lower branches of trees and catches small animals at the forest’s edge.
Protecting both the open woodlands and the tree hollows within them is crucial to the survival of the masked owl. Help grow our network so we can protect the masked owl and the beautiful box gum grassy woodlands.