At the time of the settlement of the Lower South East by Europeans the area was covered with a variety of native vegetation, predominantly eucalypts and acacias and a diverse understorey of many smaller species. With settlement came land clearance which continued up until the mid 1980s.
As a result of this clearance for agriculture, and combined with impacts of burning programs, drainage, vermin and weed invasion, there is a major reduction (approximately 90%) of original native vegetation remaining in the District. These remnant vegetation areas can be scattered or consist of isolated trees in otherwise cleared areas, and often those trees may be in poor condition, have suffered die-back, soil compaction or ring barking by stock.
Many of the surviving species are unique to this area, or are rare and vulnerable plants. It is a community responsibility to work together to protect our remnant vegetation, and where possible, implement planting programs of species. To aid this work the following is advised:-
- A Roadside Vegetation Management Plan for the District is an essential starting point. Council has commenced work on this plan.
- Ratepayers and Council both must be aware of the requirements of the Native Vegetation Act 1991, and its exemptions and conditions.
- Support for sustainable land management practices, and revegetation with local species.
Council continues to work to protect this fragile remainder of our natural environment. Further information can be gained from the Department of Environment & Water.