Bingara Living Classroom becomes showcase for Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks project

August 7, 2013

The Gwydir Shire Council and the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority (CMA) have joined forces to create vital new landscape corridors as part of the Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks project.

A strategic revegetation plan will be implemented at The Living Classroom Bingara to strengthen the links between biodiversity and agriculture. With funding from the Australian Government’s Biodiversity Fund (through the Clean Energy Future Initiative) new paddock trees, patches of bushland and a wildlife corridor will be established to link areas of remnant vegetation.

Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks project
This bare patch of ground will soon become a wildlife corridor for native species on The Living Classroom at Bingara.

New shelter belts will create protection from harsh winds, roadside plantings will fill in vegetation gaps and increase connectivity for wildlife, and mid-paddock tree clumps will provide shade, shelter and rest stops for wildlife.

The Living Classroom was once a degraded town Common on the edge of Bingara, but the Gwydir Shire Council has now developed this 150 hectare area into a research centre and showcase for the future of sustainable agriculture. It’s been designed as a centre for education, experimentation and inspiration.

The Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA sees the Living Classroom as an ideal partnership for the Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks project which aims to restore bush corridors and reconnect farmland with the beneficial services supplied free to agriculture by the natural environment. The project also aligns with the Bingara and District Vision 20/20 plan and the local community’s focus on regeneration.

“The Living Classroom site is just the sort of landscape we’re targeting under the Biolinks project. It offers an ideal location for a wildlife corridor to be planted, linking the predominantly cleared valley floor landscape with remnant biodiversity in the surrounding hills,” explained CMA Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks Project Coordinator, Marty Dillon.

“We’ll be working with the Gwydir Shire Council to restore links to important remnants of predominantly grassy woodlands, including white box, silver leafed iron bark, and critically endangered box gum grassy woodland.”

Local native seed for direct drill and tube stock plantings has been collected through the CMA’s seed bank.

Gwydir Shire Council Trade and Projects Officer, Duncan Thain, says the Gwydir Shire is very pleased to have the Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA’s assistance to further enhance the Living Classroom.

“The Brigalow Nandewar Biolinks Project marries perfectly with the Living Classroom concept which focuses on food-forests and regeneration,” stated Mr Thain.

“Establishing a wildlife corridor from the west to the east of the site,