RESTORATION: Corndale farmer Jean Marc Furio and Lismore City Council Environmental Strategies Officer Angie Brace working on a restoration project as part of the Rural Landholder Initiative.
RESTORATION: Corndale farmer Jean Marc Furio and Lismore City Council Environmental Strategies Officer Angie Brace working on a restoration project as part of the Rural Landholder Initiative. Contributed

The farming couple working to restore land to former glory

AFTER planting more than 700 trees, Corndale farmers Jean Marc and Morgane Furio are continuing their efforts to restore waterways and improve biodiversity and habitat.

The couple have been operating a grazing and macadamia business for the past 15 years while restoring the property with native forest, and have planted 700 trees on their 50-hectare property.

However the Furios said they aren't finished rehabilitating the property, and were recently successful in applying for a $7500 Rural Landholder Initiative grant from Lismore City Council to further this restoration.

The Furios had previously fenced off a dam to allow for wetland habitat improvement and they have now moved downstream, fencing off 600 metres of a tributary that leads into Coopers Creek.

"We have fenced a 60 metre wide riparian zone to allow for floods and for proper re-vegetation of the waterway,” Mr Furio said.

He said they are are excluding stock and allowing the rocky waterway to come back to life, planting native trees and waterway plants to assist in the land's healing.

"The cattle were removed from this creek in early 2019 and already we are seeing many natives coming back, like ferns and native grasses. It's just so good to see,” Ms Furio said.

Once completed, there will be more than 1200 plants and around 1.2 hectares of restored riparian habitat, improving water quality and habitat for reptiles, mammals, birds and insects.

Mr Furio said his creek is one of many in the Lismore area which were cleared of lowland rainforest for farming and ended up being home to little else except grazing pasture, camphor and privet.

He said he was careful to plant the right plants in the right place, studying the land and observing moist and dry areas over a number of years before choosing his plants accordingly.

"It's important to put in the preparation so that you do it the best way once,” Mr Furio said.

"The tube stock that are frost sensitive have been protected by sleeves from the harsh Corndale winter. It is not unusual to have frost on the Corndale flat.

"It is an extra cost to the plantation, but well worth the investment.”

The couple's restoration is one of 29 projects currently being funded through the Rural Landholder Initiative small grants program.

For more information on the Rural Landholder Initiative or upcoming field days for landholders, visit www.lismore.nsw.gov.au.



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