Adelaide Writers’ Week starts this weekend and there are so many fantastic sessions on offer! I will be at the kids’ day events on Saturday, along with some of my fellow SA children’s authors. I’ll be popping in and out across the week for various speakers, meeting my literary agent in person for the first time, and attending an author party for the Australian Society of Authors. It’s a busy bookish week!
I’m excited to bring some wonderful news in relation to the entire Adelaide Festival, which runs from the 3rd-19th March, in relation to regeneration. The team has been working with Reforest and Trees for Life, to establish a local reforestation project, in conjunction with the festival, to plant trees on a property in the Adelaide Hills!
The Mannavale farm is located near Woodside in the Mt Lofty Ranges and forms part of a biodiversity hotspot within the region. The property was severely affected in the devastating 2019 Cudlee Creek bushfire, and, as you can see below, is in much need of support.
Trees For Life’s mission is to restore and protect South Australian landscapes, raise awareness
about nature, and empower people to take action. They are known for achieving onground results and supporting volunteers to undertake meaningful and practical environmental action.
This pilot project, located in a biodiversity hot spot in the Adelaide Hills, is on the 60ha property located near Woodside in the Mt Lofty Ranges within the Onkaparinga Catchment. The Inverbrackie Creek flows through the property for approximately 2km.
The Adelaide Hills are traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna peoples.
European settlement dates from the late 1830s, with Adelaide Hills being one of the earliest settled areas in South Australia. Landholders in the region are entering into land management agreements with Trees For Life, to protect the long term maintenance and protection of the tree plantings.
The biodiversity of the Mount Lofty region is thought to be quite high and it is formally recognised as one of 15 Commonwealth biodiversity hotspots. However, vegetation clearance has been extensive across the region, and only about 10% of the original vegetation remains intact, with remnant vegetation only found in mostly isolated patches.
The landholders in the area have worked for many years to revegetate their creek lines and other areas of their properties. This project is an opportunity to extend this restoration work into previously grazed land. There are large sections of the creek, some 100 metres wide, which have been fenced, to protect it from animals and they have planted 4000 trees along the creek, since 1993. Shelter belts have also been built around many paddocks.
Declining woodland birds that will benefit from this revegetation work include:
• Brown tree creeper
• Crested shrike-tit
• Scarlet Robin
Mannavale Farm is within the over 25,000 hectares which burnt in the devastating 2019 Cudlee
Creek bushfire. Through careful revegetation and natural regeneration, the land is coming back to life. At Mannavale Farm a number of trees were lost to this fire. In 2021 a group of volunteers planted 600 trees around and near the dam, and at the base of the hill where a pine forest once stood.
A revegetation and site management plan will be developed as part of project delivery. Species
will include over-storey, mid-storey and ground cover plants, to provide a variety of habitat, most likely including:
• Allocasuarina verticillata (Drooping Sheok)
• Eucalyptus fasciculosa (Pink Gum)
• Eucalyptus leucoxylon (Souther Blue Gum)
• Leptospermum continentale (Prickly Tea-Tree)
• Acacia myrtifolia (Myrtle Wattle)
• Hardenbergia violacea (Native Lilac)
• Dodonaea viscosa spatulata (Spoon-leaf Hop-Bush)
• Bursaria spinosa (Christmas Bush)
• Hakea rostrata (Beaked Hakea)
• Banksia marginata (Silver Banksia)
In 2022 Adelaide Festival first partnered with Reforest, to support reforestation projects around Australia, through their carbon-footprint App. They are encouraging everyone coming along to the festival this year, including Writers’ Week, to get involved by using the App. It provides an interactive platform which tracks daily your activities (driving, flying, energy use etc) and purchases trees to offset your related emissions.
Because the Adelaide Festival is already Carbon Neutral, every tree planted in relation to festival activities, will have a net-positive impact and help drawdown even more greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to all of the other really important benefits of supporting bushfire recovery, increasing biodiversity, and supporting habitat protection.
If you haven’t already, I’d encourage everyone to jump on and download the Reforest app. QR codes will also be on signage at all Adelaide Festival venues where possible, including Adelaide Writers’ Week, in the Adelaide Festival guide, before your show, and via ticket confirmation emails.
All the details for Writers’ Week and the Adelaide Festival are available here.