Friday, June 5, 2009

Birdwood Sanctuary Estate

I am delighted to find that there are developers who don’t want to knock down all the native plants. I had a look at the Birdwood Sanctuary Estate at Gowrie Junction, west of Toowoomba, last weekend. The development has not only saved as much of the local dry rainforest as possible, so buyers of the 1-acre blocks can have some on their properties, but has set aside a large area of it as a reserve, so that most of the properties will have it coming right up to their back boundaries.
The rainforest is of the local type known as “semi-evergreen vine thicket”, and contains an impressive variety of the small trees typical of this type of “scrub” - trees which are deep-rooted, tend not to interfere with paths and housing foundations, and are the best possible kind of plant for a “waterwise” garden.
The ideal garden for this area would use the same species to extend the theme around the new house.
The estate is in Baxter Road, about 5 or 6 k from Gowrie Junction. To find it , you head west from the Gowrie Junction roundabout, turn right into Gowrie-Lilydale Road, take the first turn left into the road to Kingsthorpe and Glencoe, and the turn left again, into Baxter Road.


Joan said...

Hi Patricia, I'm one of the developers of Birdwood Sanctuary. Thank you for your kind comments. Preserving the conservation precinct was a fairly lengthy process involving reams of ecology reportage and many discussions with Council, Department of Natural Resources and Commonwealth Department of Environment. Some of those departments have a reputation for being 'difficult'in the development world but, in fact, every single person who became involved was positive and helpful and clearly kept the best interests of the community at the forefront. Gloria Glass was an immense help to us also. It's been a challenging project at times, but we're very happy that it's now such a beautiful and sustainable place to live. Kind regards and thank you once again for your kind words. Joan Walker

Patricia Gardner said...

I was delighted with it, Joan. An opposite experience, today, was of walking on land in the same area with some good scrub on it. A "helpful" neighbour, from a new development next door, had gone through the fence and "kindly" cleared some of the scrub. This was most certainly not appreciated by the scrub's owner!!! Among other things, it contains some quite rare dry rainforest plants. I think this person genuinely believed that our native vegetation is such rubbish that there's nothing to be done with it but to get rid of it as fast as possible.
I do rejoice when I see the opposite happening, and hope that other developers will see that developments such as yours do actually increase the value of the land in the eyes of an increasing number of environmentally savvy Australians.

Steve said...

What a load of self-congratulatory twaddle from the developer of this transplanted urban cancer. by the way, how are you going to assess the impact of Birdwood residents' pets on the locally endangered Black Breasted Button Quail?

Patricia Gardner said...

I'm interested to hear from you, Steve, though would probably have appreciated it if you had made your comment on my blog using language which didn't express, quite so clearly, your contempt of anyone whose viewpoint differs from your own. With regard to the environment, no matter how much we care, we all make compromises as we live our lives in the world as it is. Do you live in a house? Wear clothes. Eat? Drive a car? Switch on any electric lights? Make an income?
I remind you that this development took place on private land, and if the owners choose to draw the "caring for the environment" line somewhere else from where you do, they do not automatically deserve comtempt.
Realistically speaking, we may have to accept that a great deal of development of private land is going to happen. I would rather see sincere compromises like this one, than wholesale destruction by landowners who have decided that there's no pleasing the "greenies" so they might as well not even try. The "barrage of insults" approach to dialogue is just not going to save any button quails at all.