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Victorian Volcanic Plains Woodland Ecology Project Australia

The Friends of the Forgotten Woodland Inc. (FoFW) is a volunteer group working to rebuild these woodland communities that were once a keystone in the ecology of the volcanic plains.

Reintroducing these woodland communities will improve environmental biodiversity and allow future generations to
enjoy these magnificent indigenous species.

Formally commenced in 2016, FoFW is a community group which includes scientists, natural resource managers, farmers and others with an interest in propagating and re- establishing the three key species.

Friends of the Forgotten Woodland invites & welcomes new members as we continue to look for more remnant populations of Banksia, Bursaria and Sheoak as well as secure sites to plant the trees.

The Friends of the Forgotten Woodland also aim to educate the local and broader community about this important project.

You can be part of this exciting and important project that will see the reintroduction of a significant component of the VVP ecosystem that was largely removed during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  •  Keep your eyes open for remnant Banksia, Bursaria and Sheoak.
  • Report any old Banksia, Bursaria and Sheoak on your property.
  • Offer a site for planting.
  • Visit a site with a ‘Seed Orchard’ to learn more about them.
  • Join a group to help save the ‘ForgottenWoodland’ species.
  • Contact FoFW if you can offer any support.

 

FoFW brings together existing interest, enthusiasm and past works to build a project covering all of the VVP. As well as being critical to the local ecology and an important part of our local history, these species have further potential significance.

Banksias have an ability to collect and concentrate phosphorus; Sheoaks fix nitrogen like legumes, but use a different pathway, and Bursaria are potentially useful in slowing and screening fire, as well as being an important nectar source for small native wasps that control pasture pests.

The focus of FoFW has been to propagate from remaining remnants and establish new populations which mix their genetics helping to overcome issues associated with inbreeding and

Finding as many remnants as possible was a first stage, enabled through conducting community workshops.

With funding from the Glenelg-Hopkins CMA and Corangamite CMA, the genetics of the remnant Banksia stands were analysed by FoFW member Dr Adam Miller of Deakin University (Warrnambool Campus). Fellow FoFW member, Dr Steve Sinclair of Arthur Rylah Institute, has made a thorough analysis of the distribution of past and present populations. These studies show that our group is acting in the nick of time – the populations are isolated but at present retain sufficient genetic diversity to rebuild healthy and resilient populations across the VVP.

In 2017 FoFW obtained a Victorian Government Biodiversity On-Ground Action Grant to establish at least 30 genetically diverse seed orchards over the next 3 years. These will be located across the VVP from near Melbourne westward almost to Portland.