Learning from the master

In the last month, small landholders in the NACC NRM region have been treated to two opportunities to learn from Chris Ferreira – a widely acclaimed ‘master’ of small block sustainability and land management.

On both occasions Chris spoke extensively about the planning that goes into small landholding management, as well as the strategies and techniques that are needed to manage them well.

The first “Heavenly Hectares” workshop, which was held in Geraldton, provided a fantastic opportunity for local landholders to learn about the range of useful techniques and factors to consider when planning their properties.

While the group was relatively small, the energy in the room was fantastic, with participants getting a unique opportunity to engage with Chris one-to-one. The workshop agenda was also able to be tweaked to suit the specific needs of the participants, and covered such topics as managing common NRM issues in the region, species selection for planting, and how to successfully produce fruits and seeds.

The second event, held in Gingin, also looked at the techniques for successfully managing small blocks in the area. The Gingin workshop participants also had a chance to raise their own points of interest, and the ensuing discussions covered a broad range of land management topics and issues. The focus of the day centred on the basics of successfully managing a property, with discussion around fire management and passive solar housing design, as well as managing nutrient runoff into waterways.

All-in-all, the workshops were judged a success by all participants, who said they had all benefited in terms of both their knowledge and capacity. Audience feedback also indicated that there was still more interest in further information about managing fire risk, and stock health on small landholdings.

The workshops were supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program, and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

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