To: "Stephen Martin" <>
Subject: Re: WHAT TO DO
From: (Andy Burton)
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 11:41:18 +1000
>I've been stimulated by the recent discussion on the disappointing
>(some say disastrous) rate of land clearing and the very real threats
>to habitats.
>Many respondents have listed some positive action. I
>agree that a combination of regulation and financial incentive is
>required to halt land clearing in regions which will not sustain
>agriculture. We also need to put to rest finally the notion that
>Australia is a never ending land  resource just waiitng to be

Hi Steve,

        I struck a small blow when I persuaded our neighbours that we did
not require a paling fence dividing our quarter acre blocks and that it
could be replaced at lesser expense with a strip of native trees, shrubs
and grasses. It took 18 months for the idea to germinate in their minds and
further time for the acceptance of native plants and acceptance of the
"radical" idea that no colour theme was required for this area.

        There were many small advantages to this scheme:

        An increase in neighbourly cooperation.

        Our children and theirs able to roam through the property at will
(subject to basic rules>. We used their pool they used our basketball
backboard. They cleaned their pool, I cleaned the backboard!!!

        The visual appeal of double the garden space with no fence is quite
therapeutic and certainly less claustrophobic.

        BIRD HABITAT improved considerably.

        Neighbours' awareness of suburban wildlife enhanced. Previously
they had no knowledge of its existence and in fact no member of the family
could identify a single species of bird. This subsequently improved.

        There was no apparent disadvantage to either party when we
subsequently sold the house.

        It is interesting to note that while they could not identify one
species, I had seen 70 in 13 years in or from this suburban garden. I see
the major benefit of this minor exercise being that not only did this
family become more aware of their environment but they subsequently spread
the word widely amongst their family and friends.

        It also reminds me of the house and garden opposite Coffs Harbour
Botanic Gardens which had been "returned to bush". It was a haven for
birdlife, to such an extent that a Satin Bowerbird had its bower near the
back door of the house.

        There are millions of gardens in Australia which could be utilised
in this way and I cringe when I see new unit developments with their
plantings of Photinia, Nandina, Agapanthus, Camellia and other trendy but
mindless plantings.

        I know that this is not part of the big picture but you did ask!!!

regards, Andy Burton

Andy Burton
Andy Burton's Bush Tours
703/4 Francis Road
Artarmon, NSW  2064

Ph      61 2 9904 8468  (home and bus.)
Fax     61 2 9904 8768

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU