The only remaining pure tuart forest in the world is between Busselton and Bunbury. Soaring to more than 30m, the forest once spanned more than 110,000ha, its tall canopy covering from Busselton to north of Perth. But urbanisation and land clearing has reduced the forest to 3 per cent of its original size. Timber harvesting ended in 1975 and with the closure of the sawmill, the Ludlow settlement was left to decay. Working to restore the forest to its former glory, the Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group has planted 55,000 seedlings so far and hopes to plant 25,000 more by the end of winter. The group is calling for volunteers to help at its annual planting session, which is set to take place in the last two weeks of June. She said they had received a good response from those interested in this year’s planting, but there was always room for more volunteers to help at the heritage-listed settlement. “We want people to feel a sense of ownership of the forest and hope to instil in children an understanding of the importance of forests managed for all values into the future,” Ms Taylor said. “We’re trying to educate the community on the frailty of this section of tuart forest.” President Des Donnelly said it was important to retain the heritage and history of the area. “We’d like to set research up here to replace the native flora and fauna once we’ve got the tuart canopy established,” Mr Donnelly said. The group has plans to refurbish the historic Ludlow Forestry mill and settlement — which includes stables, an old mill, fire tower, storerooms and cottages — into a resource centre supporting tourism, recreation, heritage protection and employment. “People need to understand their history, and there’s a big opportunity to do that here,” Ms Taylor said.