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Restoring vital habitat along the iconic Great Ocean Road
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Restoring vital habitat along the iconic Great Ocean Road

Stretching along the south coast of Victoria, the Great Ocean Road is one of the World’s most scenic coastal roads, boasting picturesque scenery. On one side, you have the bright blue sparkling ocean and on the other, the colourful green forests that line the hillsides. 

Today, we’re taking you to a property in Wongarra, that for dozens of years laid bare and riddled with weeds. A missing piece of the Great Ocean Road beauty. Landholders Peter and Bill Wood had envisioned revegetating their family property for some time: “Our vision is to convert this ‘un-farmable’ land back to native forest, blending into the existing forest that surrounds much of the property. Once established this will help to prevent weed growth and will add to the stunning natural environment. At the same time, we will be significantly aiding carbon reduction from the atmosphere, a national priority”, said Peter and Bill.

That’s where Greenfleet jumped in with the Great Ocean Road Restoration Project, aiming to restore vital habitat for wildlife, sequester carbon from the atmosphere, protect biodiversity, improve water quality and transform the landscape back to its natural state. In 2016, we planted 6,500 native trees over 9.4 hectares. In time, the forest will sequester carbon, increase the aesthetic appeal of the roadside and increase habitat for native animals. “Clearly we want to see the steady growth of a diverse native forest that blends naturally with the surrounding forest. We also look forward to accommodating a diverse range of native fauna, including koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and birds.” 

The region is commonly known for koalas. However, in recent times the population has become unsustainable. The revegetation of native trees such as the Manna Gums, will supply food and shelter for the repopulation of the koalas. Native animals, including the Powerful Owls, echidnas and wallabies will also benefit from the increased in habitat.

The Wood brothers went on to say, “We have knowledge today about the impacts of clearing that our forefathers did not have. Diverse, healthy ecosystems are crucial to our long-term future. There is growing community awareness and hence pressure to have more coordinated approaches to restoring ecosystems and we only hope this trend can continue to grow. Thanks for your partnership in this project!”

The momentum to protect our environment is growing in strength. Collectively as a community, we are now focused on restoring our landscapes to conserve and protect our unique biodiversity and fight climate change.

Our partnerships with landholders are incredibly important; a shared vision for ongoing, biodiverse forests, that sequester carbon. Working together with like-minded individuals, such as Peter and Bill, is how our mission is achieved time and time again. “Greenfleet was recommended to us by the Southern Otway Landcare Network. We were seeking a partner that shared our environmental goals to ensure we replaced the rough ‘farmland’ with a genuine native forest as opposed to a ‘plantation’. This was very important to us,” they explained.

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The importance of protecting the climate is at the forefront of many organisations. Europcar is one of them. Together with their customers, they’ve been offsetting their emissions with Greenfleet for the past 10 years. It is thanks to the offset donations of Europcar that this property along the Great Ocean Road has been revegetated. The road sees thousands of cars travel along each year and the team at Europcar are proud to participate in supporting this scenic part of Australia.

Peter and Bill said, “It is marvellous to see corporations making such a direct contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases as well as overall improvement to our natural landscape. In the case of Europcar, where the contribution of their business to greenhouse gas is easily measured, we are delighted to be able to provide the land to help them offset these emissions. We hope that our governments might move more pro-actively in the same direction.”

Our native reforestation projects are the results of people and organisations who feel strongly about our environment, coming together to protect it. Working together with supporters and landholders, we are protecting our climate by restoring our forests, and achieving a better future for our Planet. We’d like to thank Europcar for their amazing support and the Wood brothers for partnering with Greenfleet to restore their land. You truly are Greenfleet Heroes!

 

Wood Brothers image

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