Govt grant to help group

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group vice-president Des Donnelly stands next to the stump of a grand old Tuart Tree.
Camera IconLudlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group vice-president Des Donnelly stands next to the stump of a grand old Tuart Tree. Credit: Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Jackson Lavell-Lee

The Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group has been awarded a $108,000 grant by the State Government to restore tuart trees to the Ludlow forest between Capel and Busselton.

The considerable task will see further management of the development of tuart trees, restoring the forest to its natural heritage after a pine plantation in the area was logged.

The Ludlow Forest is the only naturally occurring tuart forest in the world and the forest ecosystem is biologically unique. Over the years, the tuart population has decreased from 30,000ha to only 2500ha, making the trees endangered.

Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group vice-president Des Donnelly said the project would take time but it was of utmost importance to the region.

“It is extremely important that young people understand the value of the forest — we need to protect it for further generations,” he said.

The group would like to offer the 30,000 tuart seedlings that are growing at Boyanup Nursery for sponsorship at $10 each.

Tree sales will be managed by the not-for-profit organisation, with all proceeds to be recommitted to the project.

“It gives children a good opportunity to grow with the trees — when they are 40 years old the trees will be around 40m tall,” Mr Donnelly said.

An education program will be developed once the settlement has been restored to teach the next generation how to maintain the forest through the control of weeds and destructive animals. The Ludlow Forest has a rich cultural importance to the Wardandi people dating back thousands of years.

Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group president Evelyn Taylor said she was focused on making the project community-oriented.

“It is the history and soul of the South West, which was developed on the timber industry,” Mrs Taylor said.

Tuart trees were used in the 1800s for fine cabinetry and boat building, and the strong and attractive grey/white timber was highly valuable.

Cattle grazing, timber harvesting, clearing for agriculture, plantation development, urbanisation, mining and infiltration of various debilitating threats have left the area in a degraded state.

The Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group:

Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group Members Des Donnelly, Holger Topp, Evelyn Taylor, Lyn McMahon, Bill Biggins and Carol Warlpole
Camera IconLudlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group Members Des Donnelly, Holger Topp, Evelyn Taylor, Lyn McMahon, Bill Biggins and Carol Warlpole Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

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