Prepare a Property Plan

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu can help you to identify natural assets and priorities for management on your property. We are also working on a web-based DIY property planning tool. Stay tuned!

Start with a birds-eye view.

A big-picture view of your property will allow you to identify the assets most suitable to manage, e.g. creeks, or where new assets such as new plantings might be located.

A good starting point is to download and print off an aerial photo from Google Earth or Naturemaps in SA. Mark the existing natural assets including creeks, shelterbelts, native vegetation, rocky outcrops, and paddock trees. Identify areas known to flood or likely to erode, identify built structures such as fences and water troughs. Identify natural assets and features that adjoin your property, then it’s time to start making the to-do list.

Meet Kathy and George

Kathy and George have just purchased a 25 hectare property near Gumeracha. They are excited to finally take charge of a piece of land and hope to farm some meat sheep and keep a couple of ponies. They are proud to have a section of the River Torrens flow through their land and George has learnt much about the Kaurna peoples of Adelaide and understands that the river was a significant travel route. He would like to ensure that cultural heritage is acknowledged and protected on his land. He is especially drawn to the giant, ancient redgums along the river bank.

Kathy and George are passionate about the natural environment and want to make sure that their property is managed in a way that works with nature and allows biodiversity to flourish. They want to prevent livestock from fouling the watercourses and would also like to control the blackberry so that the native plants can colonise the riverbanks. Kathy is very interested in local birdlife. She has learnt at a local workshop that some of the local woodland bird species are in decline and would like to plant many more paddock trees around for woodland birds and stock shelter, making sure to add some different species other than just eucalypts.

There is fencing to be done, woody weeds to be controlled, plants to be accessed, planted and guarded, water troughs to be installed and there seems to be a lot of kangaroos around. They would also like to talk to some Traditional Owners to better understand the Aboriginal history of their property but don’t know where to start. It all feels a bit overwhelming!! How will Kathy and George get it all done? How much will it cost?

Prepare a Property Plan
Kathy and George would like to learn more about the First Nations cultural significance of their creekline, want to protect declining woodland birds like this chestnut-rumped thornbill and want to know how to start tackling this invasive blackberry infestation.

Kathy and George need a PLAN for protecting and improving the natural assets on their property.

A natural asset property plan will identify the opportunities to improve a property and provide the howand whenfor undertaking action – kind of like a prioritised to-do list to take them through the seasons, taking full advantage of growing seasons, windows of opportunity for spraying weeds, planning revegetation stages and fencing.

Prepare a Property Plan
An example of a simple property plan

Starting with a vision

Kathy and George feel clear about what they want their land to be. The vision was achieved through attending a number of property management workshops and doing a lot of research prior to buying their property. They were well aware of the additional costs associated with looking after the natural environment and were able to point out to the real estate agent that the property had declared weeds and negotiate a lower purchase price. Being very clear on what they want to achieve will make it much easier for them to set priorities.

Because Kathy and George want sheep, fencing off the watercourse is a priority. Fencing is expensive therefore they propose to do this in three stages over three years, mostly during the spring when the ground is soft enough to drive fence posts and dry enough to allow machinery access. This action will see their entire 800m length of watercourse fenced on both sides within 3 years. There are several rocky outcrops close to the creek which will be included within the watercourse fence as these locations are important for reptiles and should also be protected from livestock access.

Summer is the best time of year for controlling blackberry with a selective herbicide in a watercourse. Kathy and George will spray the blackberries within the area they fence off in the first year.

In order to get the local native species they want for their paddock trees planting, they will order 50 plants to be grown for them from a native plant nursery in winter of year 1, with a view to planting in winter of year 2.

The plan will also tell them when to start preparing for revegetation and where their new stock troughs will be.

Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu can help you to identify natural assets and priorities for management on your property.