The Yarrowitch Rewilding and Living Library Project
The Rewild Australia headquarters is located in Yarrowitch, NSW. The land is nestled along the great dividing range and includes a diverse range of microclimates, from rainforest to dry scrub and winding, spring-fed river.
Located in the New England tablelands, Yarrowitch was once known for its amazing cedar trees, rich plants and versatile wildlife. The area was cleared for farming and cattle, causing many endemic plants and animals to be pushed to the verge of extinction due to lack of habitat.
The area is full of wild pigs, deer and packs of wild dogs. The wild pigs destroy and erode the river banks, already long compromised by cattle. There are many introduced weeds on the ridges and at the water’s edge, and a distinct lack of mid and lower story diversity all-round.
We are reforesting and rewilding 300 acres of land that was extensively cleared and used as part of a 25,000 acre cattle station. The station was divided and sold into smaller blocks. On one side of the property is the Cottan-Bimbang National Park, which serves as a rich corridor for wildlife. The other sides are bordered by private property. Almost every property within an hour’s drive is uninhabited, unused and slowly returning to nature. This makes our site a perfect location for reforesting, as there is potential for it’s great work to spread to neighbouring properties while still benefiting from the rich national park corridor.
Native plants are the primary resource for our reforesting project. We will collect and propagate over 1000 varieties of medicinal, edible and useful native plants from within a 300km radius, including the original native cedar tree. By documenting these plants we will create a living library, combining practical and theoretical knowledge to pass on through generations.
To restore balance and manage the devastating environmental effects of pests that have no natural predators, such as wild pigs and wild dogs, we will be teaching and participating in the humane, traditional and primitive hunting of these ecologically destructive pests. With the reduction of these pests we hope to encourage the populations of nearby parma wallabies, echidnas, wombats and possums as well as other native animals.
Our aims/goals/outcomes of this rewilding project are to:
- Demonstrate sustainable, passive agricultural methods and Indigenous food harvesting practices
- Provide appropriate habitat for native wildlife
- Improve and restore endemic ecological systems
- Improve the water quality of the Cells River
- Create a living, practical catalog of local and native medicinal, edible and useful plants, on the largest scale in Australia
- Share this knowledge, and educate
The Stone Age Village Project
A major component of our overall rewilding project is the stone age village project. Using ancient traditional methods and traditions we will use the most effective and sustainable methods and techniques to build various stone age buildings and structures throughout the 300 acre land in Yarrowitch.
Workshops will be held during most constructions so as many people can join in and learn these ancient techniques and skills.
The buildings throughout the property will help showcase nomadic and hunter/gatherer living and make it as easy as possible to reintroduce people to this lifestyle, travelling from structure to structure foraging along the way.
Travelling Earth Skills Demonstrations
Sharing our tools, crafts, knowledge and philosophy is an integral part in our mission of educating, sharing and inspiring.
To reach and inspire as many people as possible we are creating and crafting a travelling earth skills demonstration pack to take to schools, festivals, non-profits, community groups, small groups and individuals.
It is full of all kinds interactive tools, equipment and crafts, some totally unknown and new to most people.
Children and adults can see how things are made and how to use them, providing an indepth appreciation and giving a practical application to the things shown and demonstrated.
Learn how to make rope, simple tools and baskets from natural materials and take them home with you.
It changes crafting for children at an early age to something that is directly useful and practical for life.
Some things in the demonstration include:
- Woven baskets, backpacks, gathering containers
- Stone axes, knives, blades and tools
- Spear throwers and spears
- Buckskin and bark-tanned leather and containers
- Traditionally dried and prepared foods
- Traps, fishing and hunting weapons
- Fire making kits
- Traditional leather clothing and bags
- Rope and cordage