Cemetery Breathes New Tree Life

October 29, 1999 the Rural news

National Parks and Wildlife Service director-general Brian Gilligan has commended the work of local councils and communities around NSW for their involvement with Federal and State Governments and their agencies in protecting the remnants of a native community once found throughout NSW.

Mr Gilligan said the Grassy Box Woodlands once covered the inland slopes and plains of south-eastern Australia but now only scattered remnants remained of them. Mr Gilligan said the work of many agencies, governments and the community will be realised with the launch of the Natural Heritage Trust funded "Grassy Box Woodlands Conservation Management Network" at Woodstock Cemetery near Cowra.

'It's significant that cemeteries, seen as a last resting place, are also some of the best remaining sites for the Grassy Box Woodlands," Mr Gilligan said. "Because these areas have not been grazed or cleared we can see these rich woodlands and grasslands in a state similar to how they would have looked when they covered a wide area of the State last century.

"Cowra Shire Council have rezoned the six hectares of vegetation on the site as a Conservation Zone under the Local Environment Plan and will work with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and leading scientific experts to prepare a plan of management for the site.

"Other examples of this native vegetation community exist on a variety of land tenures so it is important we can bring these people together to protect these areas.

Mr Gilligan said the significance of the Grassy Box Woodlands was that they were forests of diversity with native grasses, herbs and wildflowers providing a haven for a range of bird and animal life.