Articles by Simon Smale (19 articles)

‘Just a bit of bush’

Through the past three years we've had well-known and highly-respected South Coast botanist Libby Sandiford running a rolling vegetation survey across some of our Gondwana Link reserves. The information Libby has collated has surprised even us - we knew that what we're protecting and managing here is pretty special, but we didn't know quite how special.​ Read more »

Can drones make our monitoring life easier?

Drones hold the potential to quickly gather vegetation monitoring data that it would take us a lot of time on the ground to collect. South Coast Natural Resource Management (SCNRM) is supporting a trial drone monitoring project in our ecological restoration at Monjebup North to test what data drones can usefully gather, and how analysis of that can inform our monitoring program. Yesterday Angela and I… Read more »

Commonland: a new global sustainable agriculture initiative

On Wednesday last week, Angela and I joined with staff from Amsterdam-based Commonland and its WA partner Wide Open Agriculture for a Field Day at Temple Farm on the Carlecatup Creek, about 7km downstream of our Kojonup Reserve. Commonland is a global initiative exploring options for enhancing the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. A WA Wheatbelt project is the most recent of three pilot projects globally, the… Read more »

An evening with Simon Winchester

We might be a bit off the beaten track here in south-western Australia, but we're lucky in Albany at least to enjoy occasional visits from distinguished guests.  I was privileged on Sunday evening to meet in the Albany Town Hall with British author Simon Winchester for a chat about his new book 'Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the… Read more »

Reconstructed ecosystems

Last Friday I took advantage of a cracker day on the south coast to head out to the Fitz-Stirling properties to install some extra dieback signage at property entrances, check how much African Lovegrass is left to spray in order to finally eradicate it from our Beringa Reserve, and to check on recent progress with the Monjebup restoration.  Read more »

Icing on the cake

With huge financial and other support from South Coast NRM, and bolstered by generous contributions from private donors, we've now all but completed 400 hectares - that's 1,000 acres - of restoration on the Monjebup North property we bought in 2009.  A massive on-ground planting effort last month involving our restoration contractor Marlak Environmental, the Perth-based Nest Egg Foundation, Albany-based Green Army, and a small Nyungar work crew got… Read more »

Monjebup Creek vegetation survey

Angela Sanders and I spent three long days this week exploring Monjebup Creek Reserve with contract botanist Libby Sandiford and volunteer Lynda Strahan.  With funding from our great supporters here at South Coast Natural Resource Management we were able to bring the survey forward into June. Which was perfect timing as it turned out. The weather was glorious, but perhaps most importantly, the roo ticks that can make life… Read more »

The healing power of acknowledgement

Yesterday was deeply significant in relation to a series of tragic events that occurred in wild and windswept country just west of Ravensthorpe township in south-western Australia. For 130 years the reverberations of what came to be known as ‘the Ravensthorpe massacre’ have lingered in the big skies across Kukenarup, making it a place of great sadness, and standing as a silent barrier between the Nyungar and Wadjela peoples… Read more »

Connecting Cultures

Last Friday the Friends of the Porongurup Range, close colleagues of ours in the Gondwana Link project, ran a wonderful cultural day entitled 'Past and Present: Connecting Cultures' in conjunction with South Coast Natural Resource Management. Read more »

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