Project update – April 2022
As we last reported in late 2021, our Ginninderra site has transitioned out of agricultural research and into a new phase that includes ongoing environmental research, conservation and heritage management and preparation for proposed sustainable future development in the eastern portion of the site.
The process of working through decommissioning agricultural research, along with the due diligence studies and work to prepare for divestment, has been extensive and much of it has been undertaken during the prolonged global pandemic. Irrespective of the challenges of this period, CSIRO continues to be committed to carefully working through the elements that will contribute to successful outcomes for sustainable future use, research and conservation.
Our recent activities include procuring further advice on environmental management, traffic modelling studies and external and trunk infrastructure requirements. As part of that work we’ve been liaising with relevant Commonwealth and Territory government departments to secure their advice and input.
We are continuing to actively manage the site and conduct ongoing ecological research, particularly on the Ginninderra West portion of the site. The significant areas of endangered Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands and derived native grasslands continues to be a focus of our research which is being delivered in partnership with conservation groups, ACT government and community collaborators.
We are pleased to report that the mild and wet conditions over summer and early autumn have promoted significant vegetation growth that is most evident in the shrub layer that is emerging strongly in the woodlands and dry forest area, thanks to the volunteer community planters who took part in events of 2017-18. Our ecologists report that this shrub layer restoration is notably increasing native bird activity and biodiversity in the area.
The collaborative Blakely’s Red Gum provenance trials are also making steady progress and the grassland restoration sites are carrying significant amounts of vegetation including a diversity of native species. We will have more to report on these projects as further research results become available.
Finally, our understanding of these precious Box-Gum Grassy Woodlands received a boost recently through our co-development of a virtual reality tool that allows you to see how such woodlands have been shaped and changed over time in response to major environmental events and changes.
Stay tuned for our next update.