There are lots of issues clamoring for attention in our world – war, hunger, climate change, disaster, death and despair. I find reading the newspaper a dangerous activity likely to explode a blood pressure cuff across the room.
‘Nearly two years ago I got the opportunity move back to the family farm and work on making it more resilient, to help it survive the next few decades. That means living in a beautiful old house belonging to my mother, with a view over the Murrumbidgee and the surrounding hills. It means fixing up that house and the others on the farm. It means repairing or putting up new fences to protect plants and it means working out what the landscape should look like for the long term.
So the issue I’ve decided to focus on is making conservation work for a sheep farm in New South Wales. For example, although my family has worked hard over nearly fifty years to improve the land, we still haven’t been able to keep up with replacing the old dying eucalypts with new younger trees. As I’m married to a biologist who does lots of research on population biology, everything from whales to tropical geckos, it’s a great opportunity to see how the theory of conservation looks in a practical environment.
We have wonderful neighbours who are very understanding about our plans, and prepared to offer lots of suggestions, including what not to do…
The Murrumbidgee River is 900km long. We currently have custody of 650 hectares on either side of just one bend in that river. That’s a challenge we can handle. We think.