It was certainly a beautiful autumn day for the Federation University student visit in April, with the majority of the 32 students doing their final year of the Land Restoration and Rehabilitation course.
BRT President Phil Kinghorn spoke to them at the entrance about the history of ImLal and the birth of the idea of biorich plantations at the BRT conference nine years ago. They then followed biorich designer Stephen Murphy into a sunny spot beside the shining gums where he could point out the layering that has developed and the five different plant families that could be seen from this one location. We had a good interactive session with the students participating in some role plays of the four native animals have relevance to ImLal and in recreating woodland layering, with students becoming canopy trees, understorey, shrubs and a log on the green shade cloth stage.
Course leader, Singarayer "Florry" Florentine then asked the students to survey the plants in the study quadrats. The BRT crew checked out the survival rates on the biolink (which were not too bad considering the recent dry spell – at least 70% from what we saw at the southern end).
Gib Wettenhall is interested in how we carry out large scale landscape restoration that involves the people who live in those landscapes. That, he believes, would build truly resilient landscapes.