Current and Future Projects
Our planting projects bring additional benefits to the local and global environment in addition to mitigating carbon emissions. Our projects restore woodland and wildlife habitat on degraded marginalised land by planting mixed native species endemic to the locality. This differentiates Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund from a number of companies that establish carbon reduction projects by planting oil mallee monocultures.
We're thrilled to announce that our planting project for 2018 will be a 25ha biodiverse sandalwood plantation at Bencubbin.
We will be restoring biodiverse sandalwood woodlands on wodjil soils - highly acidic sands that are typically deep yellow - which are of marginal or no use for agriculture and are prone to wind erosion. The native vegetation of Acacia and other tree and shrub species will be restored to serve as hosts for the hemi-parasitic native sandalwood (Santalum spicatum).
Contracts have been signed with the landowners and planting services contractors, and registration of the project under the Emissions Reduction Fund is underway. The landowners will retain ownership of the land and grazing rights to the revegetation areas, and will have harvest rights to sandalwood products (nuts and sandalwood) once the trees reach maturity.
The Bencubbin project will be a demonstration site to encourage both farmers and carbon buyers to support carbon farming in WA, highlighting the environmental, agricultural and economic benefits to landowners and the broader community.
Kwobrup Downs, Badgebup
In June 2017 Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund (CNCF) will begin our new 80 hectare planting project in Badgebup WA. The Kwobrup Downs site is situated on a valley floor next to a unique wetland system. The original native environment was cleared for agriculture in the 1960’s. Over time the cleared landscape has resulted in high levels of salinity, particularly in the creek running through the property
The charity purchased the 404 hectare site in 2010 as part of our Trees for Tomorrow program. Trees for Tomorrow is a revolving land fund model that enables CNCF to rehabilitate degraded rural land. We purchase a property, plant a biodiverse mix of native species, register the carbon rights and then offer the property for sale – with the new plantings protected by a 100 year covenant.
The initial planting of 120 hectares took place from 2010 to 2011. The site posed several challenges due to its geography and salinity. The charity engaged David Mcfall to plan and manage the planting. Extensive site analysis was undertaken in the planning stages to establish planting zones and to target the more saline and threatened regions of the site.
The site analysis identified five different zones, each of which was planted with species best suited to the soil type and geography to create habitats of eucalypt woodland, melaleuca thicket, acacia woodland, atriplex system and mallee belts. In total 55 native tree and shrub species were planted.
In accordance with the National Landcare Reform natural resource management guidelines (NRM), the drainage outcomes where maximised for the greater benefit of the broader catchment.
With the site analysis already completed and plenty of land left to plant on this property, CNCF has decided to continue planting the site rather than selling at this stage.
Planting will continue in July 2017. We are excited to again be working with local contractor Justin Johnson at Threshold Environmental.
An estimated 125 kilograms of native seeds representing 60+ species will be seeded across the project area, and an additional 14,584 stems will be hand-planted at a rate of roughly 200 per hectare. In preparation for planting, the site has been subjected to a full knock-down weed management treatment to store subsurface soil water and control surface biomass. Additional spray treatments are planned after the seeding to support recruitment and persistence of native recruits.
The 2017 winter season in southwest Western Australia has had a delayed start to the typical rain patterns of the region. While this can be catastrophic for farmers, it is not necessarily the case for re-vegetation of woody perennials. Current medium to long term forecasts suggest that precipitation patterns are likely to meet historical patterns within the winter season. For direct seeding, the current forecast is favourable.
As long as our seedlings germinate, they have a strong capacity to persist well into the summer. With high rainfall forecast for the summer months of December and January, and further on again in March, the capacity for any recruits to persist and grow through the summer season is favourable.
For previous monitoring reports from our 2010/2011 planting click here.
The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor
To achieve greater biodiversity benefits from our reforestation program, our plantings are currently being carried out on one of Australia's biggest biodiverse carbon sink projects - the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor in the Wheatbelt of WA.
The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor is located in Western Australia’s northern agricultural region about 400 km north of Perth. The Corridor reconnects valuable remnant woodlands and 12 nature reserves to establish habitat stepping stones and links for biodiversity to move and disperse through the landscape.
It supports extensive woodlands of York Gum and Salmon Gum, much of which was cleared for agricultural purposes. The ancient Yarra Yarra drainage line flows intermittently from the east to the Yarra Yarra lakes near the town of Three Springs. Most of the lakes and channels are saline, some naturally and some because of the massive clearing of the Wheatbelt which has led to rising hypersaline groundwater tables.
From the early 1900’s onwards, over 90% of the northern Wheatbelt was cleared for agricultural purposes. This has resulted in the removal of native habitat and the extinction of many plant and animal species at a local and regional level. However, the remaining species have hung on in woodland and shrubland remnants, usually on rocky ridges and commercially less productive upper valley slopes.
By re-connecting drier inland habitats with their coastal counterparts, the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor will help protect and recover our endangered and declining woodland and shrubland fauna such as Malleefowl, Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo, Crested Bellbird, Western Yellow Robin and Western Spiny-tailed Skink. This is Australia’s largest revegetation project based on biodiversity and carbon capture.
Under contract with our 'planting partner' Auscarbon, CNCF has planted 286 hectares in the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor since 2010. This year we have just completed planting a further 736 hectares with financial assistance from the Australian Government's Biodiversity Fund.
Auscarbon has planted over 18 million native species of trees and shrubs in this 10,000 square kilometre corridor.