Managing grasslands is a family affair

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Peter and Rosemary Oddie combine cropping and sheep farming southeast of Ararat with protecting over 100 acres of significant native grasses.

Their interest in grassland protection was initially piqued after seeing the work Peter's brother was doing to preserve grasslands at his Chepstowe property.

Peter and Rosemary approached Glenelg Hopkins CMA for a site assessment around 20 years ago. Until this survey they were unaware of just how significant their grassland site was and the important habitat it provided to the Striped Legless Lizard.

Peter thinks that it is important for farmers interested in preserving and enhancing their grasslands to have the sites assessed by the CMA. The Oddies are appreciative of the on-site advice and the assistance received, and have improved their knowledge of grassland plants and the site's value.

The native grasses have been protected through placing a covenant on the site and developing a management plan, in consultation with Peter, requiring little change to the activities already undertaken to manage, preserve and enhance.

‘It's important to know what you've got' Peter Oddie said ‘There's a lot of help out there at no cost, and a lot of wise advice'.

With son Andrew returning to the farm and supportive of preserving the native grassland the covenant helps ensure succession planning for the site.

‘It's important to bring family into the discussion' Peter said.

With leaving the site in its natural state and managing it under a CMA project, the support provided has helped to offset the potential financial loss of production from the area.

‘It's easy to meet the plan of management' Peter said ‘and we put a covenant on the site which means we are committed to keeping the area as it is. We think it's worthwhile and it's the right thing to do.'

This project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins CMA, through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme.