100,000 hectares protected forever
Together with Trust for Nature reserves this permanently protects over 100,000 hectares, a milestone 46 years in the making.
Protective covenants are a voluntary agreement that landholders choose that protect plants and wildlife on the land forever.
The organisation’s CEO, Victoria Marles, said worldwide there is an increasing focus on the importance of conservation on private land.
“Victoria has the highest proportion of private land of any state and territory. Sixty per cent of our valuable and threatened habitats are on private land so landholders are some of the great champions in preventing species extinction. They are making a real difference.
“Putting a covenant on land is one of the most important things someone can do to give threatened species a home forever and ensuring it’s around for generations to come.” Victoria said.
Trust for Nature is one of the Australia’s oldest conservation organisations, set up in 1972 to enable nature conservation on private land. It was ahead of its time.
The State Government’s Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 plan has a target to protect 200,000 hectares on private land in the next 20 years. This is an important target and Trust for Nature will continue to work in partnership with landholders to achieve it.
Trust for Nature’s Statewide Conservation Plan has identified priority areas of the state which are home to important plants and animals and need to be protected and preserved.
Key threatened animals targeted for protection include the critically endangered Common Bent-wing Bat, Plains-wanderer, Helmeted Honeyeater, Growling Grass Frog and Corangamite Water Skink.
Belinda Taylor and her partner Tom Graham (pictured with son Octavia) bought a covenanted property on the fringes of Melbourne’s CBD in Pakenham Upper, bordering the Gembrook Conservation Reserve. They said the fact that it was protected was very appealing and added value to the property because it also gives them support if they need it. Belinda said, “We moved here after absolutely falling in love with the forest. There is a magical feeling amongst the trees, knowing that the forest is protected from development forever.
“Tom and I have plans of growing our own food. We want our children (and their children’s children) to have an incredible childhood growing up exploring, understanding and playing in the forest.”
In addition to the over 1400 covenants, Trust for Nature has facilitated the protection of thousands of more hectares by helping to return properties back to the public such as Churchill Island, William Ricketts Sanctuary in Mount Dandenong and Terrick Terrick Grasslands on the Northern Plains.
Kathy Cogo, Media and Communications Manager, Trust for Nature, 0466 015 183, firstname.lastname@example.org.