Volunteers to develop Otways habitat

Beech Forest’s Nathan Swain will lead a team of volunteers to plant 250 native shrubs at this Beech Forest site on Sunday’s National Tree Day. The site is opposite Cliff Young Park.

Beech Forest’s Nathan Swain will lead a team of volunteers to plant 250 native shrubs at this Beech Forest site on Sunday’s National Tree Day. The site is opposite Cliff Young Park.

A BEECH FOREST man is leading Colac district people in supporting a national environment day on Sunday.

Beech Forest’s Nathan Swain and his army of about 30 volunteers will join hundreds of thousands of Australians in planting more than a million native trees, shrubs and grasses as part of Planet Ark’s National Tree Day at the weekend.

Mr Swain said Sunday’s tree-planting project at Beech Forest opposite Cliff Young Park would help with “bank stabilisation and habitat development”.

“Recently trees came down in the storm, and so we want to replace these, and then build up the habitat to bring in the birds,” Mr Swain said.

“This spot has a car park and it is the first point of contact for tourists,” he said.

The heavy-vehicle driver said he was “environmentally conscious and a bit of a gardener” and wanted to help landowners and farmers “beautify” areas along the Beechy Rail Trail near Beech Forest and Ferguson.

Mr Swain said he had consulted with the Beech Forest community about plant varieties.

“We found there were concerns about trees being fire resistant species and indigenous to the area,” he said.

“We’ll be planting local native plants and some coastal plants; there will be fire resistant varieties including mountain pepper, corea, blanket leaf and musk daisies.

“I want to put up interpretative signs about local plants and animals attracted by those habitats and the historical side of what used to go on around here.”

Mr Swain said he had received 250 plants through the Victorian Government’s 2 Million Trees program.

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