Strathfieldsaye Estate’s 350,000 trees

Plantings underway at Strathfieldsaye Estate, Perry Bridge. Photo: Contributed

THREE hundred and fifty thousand trees have been planted across Strathfieldsaye Estate, as part of a reforestation project aimed at capturing carbon and restoring local ecosystems.

The plantings are part of the Nestlé Global Reforestation Program, which, in Australia, aims to establish 10 million trees in partnership with Greening Australia, Canopy and One Tree Planted.

Dr Pamela Parker, board member of the Australian Landscape Trust based at Strathfieldsaye Estate, said the project aims to deliver local impact by supporting crucial habitat restoration.

“These 350,000 native plants for Strathfieldsaye Estate will help efforts to restore habitat in the Central Gippsland area and improve ecological connectivity for locally threatened species, among them several orchid species, amphibians such as the Growling Grass Frog, and numerous species of birds. We also hope to see improvements in local soil quality, resulting in increased water retention and pasture production. Reduced runoff across the area will help enhance water quality of Lake Wellington.

“Reforestation projects such as these are important for our future. An enormous amount of tree clearing took place in Victoria over the years, removing wildlife habitat in the process. Coupled with the impacts of climate change bringing increased temperatures, frequency of extreme droughts and fire risk, we need to restore native vegetation to retain species diversity, ecosystem services and productive primary production,” Dr Parker said.

The Nestlé Global Reforestation Program aims to grow 200 million trees globally by 2030 and is part of Nestlé’s efforts to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The 10 million trees in Australia aim to capture an estimated 1.9 million tonnes of CO2 over a 25-year carbon crediting period. Averaged over the project lifetime, this is the equivalent of exhaust emissions from more than 22,000 cars driving each year.

A biodiverse mix of native species, the trees are expected to help restore local biodiversity, improve water quality and revitalise degraded soils at each of the planting sites.

Nestlé Oceania Director of Sustainability Margaret Stuart said: “Nestlé has set the target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, reaching a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 – and a goal of 10 million trees in Australia, aiming to capture around 1.9 million tonnes of CO2. By the end of 2023 we’ll have planted more than 1.9 million trees.

“But this is about much more than just planting trees – this program aims to improve biodiversity, help restore habitats, and provide environmental and economic benefits to local communities,” she said.

Greening Australia chief operating officer, Paul Della Libera, said that partnership and collaboration were key to driving impact and change across Australian landscapes.

“To address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change we must work together, finding innovative ways to drive speed and scale. Working with partners such as Nestlé allows us to undertake ambitious projects that will help to deliver real change and tangible benefits to the Australian landscape,” he said.

“These projects are not possible without the participation of private landholders. In the 40 plus years we’ve been restoring landscapes, we’ve worked with thousands of landholders, helping them to re-establish native habitat, improve the health of their land and create environmental and financial value. These relationships are essential to achieving nature restoration at scale, we couldn’t do this work without them.”

Landholders interested in learning more and registering their interest for a no-obligation chat with a Greening Australia representative can do so at greeningaustralia.org.au/landholder registration/