We are a not for profit business specialising in the ecological restoration of native grasslands and associated ecosystems.

History

Native vegetation and specifically grassy woodland plant associations have been poorly conserved or highly modified in most areas of the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR). They were recognised federally as endangered by the Australian Nature Conservation Agency in March 1993. There is little connectivity between the few patches of grassy woodland remaining. Past attempts to link or restore these areas have primarily focused on over storey trees and shrubs rather than the species rich ground flora of herbaceous plants and grasses.

 

Figures from an AMLR Natural Resources (NR) report in 2014 shows that the region has had 38 flora and 37 fauna extinctions (13 mammals, 13 birds, 6 reptile/amphibians, 4 fish and 1 insect). Another 212 fauna species and 827 flora species are threatened with extinction. One thing they all have in common is that they are dependent on a complete functioning ecosystem comprising of diverse native grassland species that have largely been eradicated. SA Professor Hugh Possingham and Associate Professor David Paton first raised their concerns about species loss in 2000 and 2001. One of the most important steps in achieving restoration of these habitats has previously been ignored in restoration attempts, that is ensuring the ecological design of restoration sites includes the habitat requirements of the targeted species.

 

In the current Natural Resources Management (NRM) plan, it states that 30% (150,000 Ha) of habitat restoration is required to reverse the current trend of species extinctions. Our SA native grasslands stand at 1% (99% lost). According to the Atlas of South Australia (1986), in 1836, only 1.2% of the state’s vegetation was forest. The habitat restoration focus must be on biodiversity and ecosystem reconstruction with an emphasis on the complexity of native grassland vegetation communities, not just tree planting.

 

In 2004 revolutionary research to reconstruct native grassland communities on the broad acre began in Western Victoria by the University of Melbourne and Greening Australia. Seven years later in Mt Pleasant, the Upper Torrens Land Management Project (UTLMP) adapted their approach to suit our very different landscapes and thus initiated a giant leap forward for our region and our State.

 

This project commenced in June 2012, with primary funding from the Australian Government’s Biodiversity Fund. Other funding and vital support have come from the wider community, the UTLMP, Upper River Torrens Landcare Group, Native Grass Resources Group (NGRG), AMLR NR and the Barossa and Adelaide Hills councils.

 

We are now continuing this vital work in the form of a Not For Profit business, Seeding Natives Incorporated. Our esteemed board consists of the following highly skilled and respected individuals in their field of specialty.

Chief Executive Officer:

Andrew Randell Fairney

BAppSc (BiodivEnvPkMgmt)

Project Manager, Biodiversity Fund project. Increasing ecological richness in grassy woodland in the Upper Torrens Catchment. 2012 – 2017

Chairperson:

Robert Myers –

Leadership position in regional Landcare since 1989

Upper River Torrens Landcare Group. Inaugural Chair, 1989

Native Grasses. Steering Committee Inaugural Chair, 1994 – 1997

Native Grass Resources Group. Inaugural Chair, 1997

Upper Torrens Land Management Project. Inaugural Chair 1998

Honorary Life Member of Native Grass Resources Group.

State Individual Landcarer of the year, 2013

Treasurer:

Tony Vincent –

AJV Services, finance & environmental services. Sole Proprietor, Current

McMahon Services Australia. Finance Manager, 2006 – 2012

Hudson. Finance consultant, 2005

BlueScope steel. Commercial manager, 1999 – 2005

BHP Billiton. Management Accountant, 1984 – 1999

Westinghouse Electric Company. Accountant, parts & service, 1969 – 1984

Secretary:

Tawni Jones –

Project Assistant, Biodiversity Fund project, 2015 – 2017

Zero Waste SA & EPA, Manager Industry Programs, 2007-2014

Members:

 

Martin Philcox –

PIRSA. Agronomist, Senior Research Scientist, specialising in soils and irrigation.

Specialist Consultant.  Agronomy, soils, waste water irrigation, and wetland rehabilitation. Industries include grazing, horticulture, dairy and waste water irrigation of plantation forestry and vegetables.

 

Trevor Gent –

John Deer, Case and Saddleworth Machinery.Mechanical Engineer

Specialist Engineer, machinist and machine inventor.

TAFE. Lecturer, farm machinery operation and maintenance.

Insurance Assessor. Grain loss, crops, hay and farm machinery.

 

Marne Durnin-

Wild Fowl and Wetlands Trust UK. Former acting Director.

Native Grass Resources Group. Former Chair.

Adelaide Hills, Native Grasses In Grazing. Pioneer practitioner.