Recreating the Country blog
John is an Honorary Fellow with the University of Melbourne.
He was a lecturer in plant production and seed technology at the University’s Burnley campus for 25 years prior to his retirement.
His involvement with native grassland conservation focused initially on cultivation and seed production systems for grassland forbs and later on the reconstruction and management of diverse native grassland communities for both ecological and horticultural applications.
Over the past few months, Steve has introduced the native grasslands and grassy woodlands of temperate Australia; what we know of their management and why we are losing the battle to save them – a compelling story in four Blogs. I have the privilege of adding my own contribution to this discussion.
Last month I wrote about the on-going, incremental loss of native grassland on our public roadsides, but also of the recent progress in restoring these communities, primarily by direct sowing.
This month, I’d like to explore the value of restoration for conserving these critically endangered communities and how a small community in south-western Victoria is approaching this issue. I will argue that local community action is an achievable method for kick-starting the replacement of large tracts of exotic, high biomass, summer-dry roadside vegetation with lower biomass native grassland communities, dominated eventually, in most instances, by summer-growing Kangaroo Grass.
The many benefits of roadside grassland reserves
There are numerous reasons why rural roadsides are potentially very valuable for long-term native grassland conservation, and simultaneously, why remnant and restored native grasslands are so well suited to our roadsides.
Stephen Murphy is an author, an ecologist and a nurseryman. He has been a designer of natural landscapes for over 30 years. He loves the bush, supports Landcare and is a volunteer helping to conserve local reserves.