Bob and Narelle Hampson were acknowledged for their environmental work on their property in Schubels Road, Marburg at the 17th annual Ipswich City Council Awards for Excellence that were announced at a function in the Civic Hall on 19 August. These awards recognise individuals and corporations who are committed to promoting and producing excellence in the design of new development, the conservation of Ipswich’s built heritage, conservation of its natural environment and academically within schools.
Bob and Narelle were thrilled to be presented with a Gold Award in the Rural Greening category of the Environment Awards. Later, they were totally astounded when they received the Overall Environmental Award ahead of all other nominees in all categories.
Their philosophy in developing and a managing their property is well described in the following extract from their entry:
Development of our property is based on our strong affinity with the land, love of trees, and deep concern for the environment. We have a strong land care ethic and acknowledge a duty to pass the land to the next generation in a better condition to that in which we found it.
In 2000, we commenced development of our property of 24.28 ha (60 acres) which we purchased the previous year. It was run down and neglected with poor infrastructure and was heavily infested with weeds (principally lantana, African boxthorn, groundsel, Noogoora and Bathurst burr). Based on a sound property management plan, since then, we have:
• Cleared and continue to manage the weeds;
• Established a plantation of 10 ha of hardwoods (2001);
• Commenced revegetation of a gully with dry rainforest species (2002 – ongoing);
• Established a small plantation (400 trees) specifically for fencing material (2004);
• Revegetated an area of about 1 ha which is prone to erosion (2008);
• Planned revegetation of a further 0.8 ha which is also erosion prone in summer 2008/9.
Cattle are grazed conservatively to ensure good ground cover year-round and encourage desirable pasture species. Fencing has been constructed to facilitate land and pasture management and revegetation activities.
Our farm is a registered Land for Wildlife property. We are passionate about this and consider the effect upon wildlife of all of our land management activities.
We have hosted many field days and educational tours. Around 2 000 people have visited the property to learn about land management, farm forestry and revegetation.
The area around the house has been planted principally with dry rainforest species with the goal of providing food and habitat for birds and butterflies. The success of this is evident in that each year, around twelve different species of birds raise young within 10 metres of the house. In 2006, we were placed first in the native gardens category of the Ipswich garden competition.
We are thrilled that Bob and Narelle’s hard work and commitment to the environment has been acknowledged by these awards. They are both involved with various revegetation projects around Marburg as well as a number of community groups. We (and our local environment) benefit greatly from having them as residents.