Grassy Woodland Restoration

Native Grassy Woodland Restoration

Kalbar proposes to restore 200 hectares of native grassy woodland at the Fingerboards site.

This will be the single largest restoration of this type undertaken in Victoria, and probably Australia, creating a major ecological asset for the region.

The importance of native grassy communities

Temperate grasslands and grassy woodlands have an irregular distribution across south eastern Australia.

They occupy areas where up to 500mm average annual rainfall occurs throughout the year. At the ground level grassy communities are composed of four readily identifiable plant types:

  1. Warm season growing grasses
  2. Cool season growing grasses
  3. Native wildflowers (forbs)
  4. Non-indigenous grasses and forbs species (weeds)

Today, there is an urgent need to restore native grasslands and grassy woodlands because up to 99% of those which occurred across south eastern Australia have been destroyed by human impacts.

Kalbar is a business member of the Society for Ecological Restoration and aims to achieve best practice in Grassy Woodland restoration.

Native wildflower seed production

Restoring native grassy communities

The most important factors in successfully restoring native woodlands and grassy woodlands include:

1 - Access to the required amounts and quality of seed

Because wild collections are often unable to supply large volumes of seed, small amounts of wild seed can be cultivated and grown as seed crops to produce enough seed for restoration.

2 - Reducing weed competition to sown natives

Australian plants have evolved on lower nutrient soils and so can be at a disadvantage to weeds in fertilised locations used for agriculture. Top soil stripping (where a shallow slice of topsoil is removed) enables the remaining surface to be successfully sown with native seed.

3 - Appropriate knowledge and technology

Much applied research has been conducted in recent decades to shed light on the most effective methods and approaches.

Seeding of a rehabilitation site with native grasses.
Restored native grassland site in Western Victoria.
Restored native grassland site in Western Victoria.