Published by em PRESS for Ballarat Region Treegrowers, Recreating the Country challenges landholders and land managers to consider new ways of thinking about how we might reverse the inexorable decline and disappearance of Australian plants and animals from rural landscapes.
While integrating conservation and production has become the catchcry from foresters to dairy farmers, what can be practically done? This book provides the ‘stretch goals’ and the blueprint for ways of adding habitat and designing more ‘wildlife-friendly’ properties. It’s set to become the ‘bible’ for a new form of revegetation – the ‘biorich plantation.’ Integrated with other forms of vegetation, these would aim to enrich habitat potential across rural landscapes, not just for a lifetime, but in perpetuity.
In 2010 and 2011, Ballarat Region Treegrowers planted a 15ha model 'biorich plantation' project on a mining buffer site near Lal Lal Falls based on the principles in the book. Stephen Oakes, a local film maker, was commissioned by BRT/AFG to produce a short video on the planting. This is now on Youtube at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaHa3nioCpQ
He has now made a more ambitious 33 minute film on large scale, community driven landscape restoration in south-east Australia and Sri Lanka – visit the rediscovering the country website for a free download.
The biorich plantation fits within the concept of analogue forestry, which as a first principle mimics the structure of the original natural forest in its design, while incorporating productive elements for use or sale by the landholder.
RRP: $25 ISBN 978 0 9757778 3 1 Published 2009. Paperback, 142pp, full colour, illustrated throughout – two print runs
Praise for Recreating the Country
“I found it interesting and very informative. There are some light touches, too! It's clearly laid out and ‘user-friendly.’ I certainly agree with the overall thrust of the book. I have always been critical of‘revegetation,’ which only includes trees, as if the lower storeys don't matter. I also like the recognition given to fauna.” – Well-known author and botanist Leon Costermans
In this delightful small book, Stephen Murphy presents his unifying vision of why [revegetation] needs to be done and how it can be done, recognising the common principles that can apply to commercial plantations, shelterbelts, revegetation and the myriad types of planting in between.” – Richard H. Loyn, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, DSE, Victoria
“I found it refreshing, informative and innovative. Most of it is not designed for quick reference, but for study and thoughtful consideration. All readers will find it useful in any of their tree-planting efforts.” – From a review by naturalist Roger Thomas in the Ballarat Courier
About the author Author and ecologist Stephen Murphy has, with his wife Lina, run a successful native plants nursery in central Victoria for over 25 years. At the heart of Recreating the Country are ten design principles, observed from nature, which set out to bridge the gap between farm forestry and environmental plantings and bring back the bush in rural landscapes.
em PRESS Publishing specialises in Australian landscapes and their historical and cultural contexts. em PRESS is particularly interested in fusing Indigenous, European settler and nature-based readings of the landscape to provide a truer view of our country.