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Decade Of Ecological Restoration Series – Episode 6 – Regeneration & Sequestration – Simone O’Brien

Author Wren McLean

Simone is the co-owner of a 10 acre property in Blindmouth Valley.  She has been the custodian since 2017 and has been working to steadily regenerate the land with others who have bush regeneration and permaculture knowledge. “As a custodian of the land one of the best things I can do is reparation because this is stolen land that was never ceded so its a contested space to try and make good”  

The intention of the property is to to create a creative community, of people with diverse skills and knowledge, but also to provide access and inclusion for  non-human species.  “We use our property to provide habitat not only for people but also for flora and fauna and to participate in something bigger than ourselves”.

Simone wanted to be part of the solution, to care for country in the best way she knew how,  using the knowledge and networks that she had to accelerate regenerative development.  “I'm a theatre artist so this is a different form of meaning making,  when we heal the land it heals us back and keeps us in touch with what is real”. 

Special occasions and birthdays are celebrated with plantings;  60 trees for Joey’s 60th and 30 trees for Clark’s 30th.  The property is part of a community working group of 12 families that do a blitz on one property each month over the year. In May 2022 around 25 people planted 250 rainforest trees along an ephemeral creek to eventually link up to Middle Pocket Nature Reserve. We are doing it herbicide free so trees are heavily mulched with cardboard and woodchip and spaced so a mower can maintain between them. 

The community has planted 450 trees with another 250 to plant this autumn from a Land for Wildlife grant.  It is estimated that these 700 trees will sequester an average of 3.9 Tonnes of CO2 per year over their lifetime. 

“I get deep satisfaction in knowing that I am one small part of a movement of passionate dedicated people who really want to right the wrongs. I don't have kids so these trees are like my babies and I get so much out of watching them grow and knowing that they will continue beyond my lifetime. My wise mum always said “leave it better than when you found it” so bush regeneration and carbon sequestration is one way to do our bit”. 

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