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Caring for Milton's rainforest

· Environment

Reviving and caring for Milton's threatened subtropical rainforest, part of which grows on Narrawilly Farm, is more important than ever. Right now, vast areas of bushland, woodland and forests have burned or are still burning along Australia's east coast.

To help sustain our small patch of endangered rainforest, more than two dozen volunteers (photo below) spent a week (18 to 22 November 2019) on the farm caring for the trees growing there.

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Volunteers, organised through Milton Rural Landcare, plus a couple of contractors from Ulladulla's Local Aboriginal Land Council, worked with Dr David Bain (from NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment; photo below) to expand the rainforest by several hectares.

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The planting had been on hold for months while everyone waited for rain. It never arrived in the volumes needed. Eventually, the decision was to move forward with the project, and a call went out for volunteers to help with planting and hand-watering. About 25 people volunteered, working from mid-morning to late afternoon in the heat and dry. Conditions were tough. Undaunted, the team planted thousands of seedlings in the gully and along the perimeters. The addition of these seedlings, which had been grown from local stock for the past 12 months, expanded the rainforest area by several hectares. Ute-loads of water were also brought in to nourish the newly planted seedlings, and weekly waterings will continue until the rains arrive.

We are extremely grateful to all of the volunteers and contractors, along with David and the DPI, for their massive effort over the past week and their continued help with watering the seedlings as we wait for rain. Thank you to each and every one of you.