A sanctuary for Nature.
Tully is a creek ecosystem. The revitalization of this project is of great significance and scale as ultimately all outflows of water affect the quality of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Sites such as this act as sanctuaries for nature, providing habitat for exotic and rare flora. Surrounded by farmland, Tully really is a tiny oasis in a large sea of agriculture.
This Miyawaki forest complements the degraded ecosystem as well as the rainforest area.
“This Miyawaki forest will complement the degraded ecosystem as well as the rainforest area and it will help pollinate fruit trees.”
Brett Krause, SUGi Forest Maker
Average of tallest 3 trees
Tully has faced more challenges than other Queensland projects - indicated in a lower survival rate this year - due to several flooding events and the infiltration of cattle from neighboring land. However, this pocket forest grows well and is another excellent example of the resilience of the Miyawaki method. Indeed, the forest is helping to reduce the moisture stagnation issues that were a challenge for the forest in its early days.
The forest floor and canopy are still developingbut across 30% of the site Tully is self-sustaining. Growth has been slower due to events mentioned above, but succession from surrounding vegetation is occurring well, with native seeds and understorey flora that was difficult to obtain at planting now becoming established in the forest.
At least five non-planted species that could not be found in local nurseries are now present in the forest. Bird droppings are also contributing to the appearance of ever more new native species.
Insect and bird life is increasing. Wasp nests are noted and well established. The biodiversity continues to increase with many more species of insects, dragonflies, small reptiles and over 15 bird species recorded, including the Willy Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys), Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus), the Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) and Black Butcher Bird (Cracticus quoyi). The Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio ulysses) and Northern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) have also been observed.
The site is now established after a slow start with water logging but succession from surrounding vegetation, native seeds and understorey flora that was difficult to obtain established. So a great result in the long run.
Leaf litter is establishing under the canopy. Understorey groundcover is established. Significant weeding was conducted and resulted in new growth of Miyawaki trees and new seeds propagating. Invasive grasses have been maintained.
It has been a very wet period! Tully has recorded over 4.7m of rain for the year so far. This is well over 1m more than the long term average. The Miyawaki is proving resilient overall as an ecosystem. Neighbour’s cows have accessed the site again but no damage, hoof prints visible around the edge.
“My favorite tree is the quandong tree, Elaeocarpus Grandis, which is a keystone species for this region that supports so many native animals, birds, and particularly the southern cassowary which is endangered.”
Brett Krause, SUGi Forest Maker