I have planted thousands of trees in the 25 years I have lived on Avalon, providing a sanctuary for wildlife and people to enjoy. Old logs were brought onto Avalon to create hidey holes and nesting places. Bladey grass stands are left and old logs and branches are stacked in piles for bandicoots and small animals to nest and hide in. In the 30 years I have lived here, no toxins or poisons have been used, completely keeping the farm organic. I have planted many flowering and food trees for birdlife, which balance bugs and insect problems. The lakes and dams are catchment areas for the habitat of the eastern water dragon which run across the top of the water before jumping in and then just their head appearing to have a look around. My aim is to encourage the animals to stay on this property rather than venture onto the main road. The excitement I feel each year when two or three new species of birds are attracted to Avalon, is a wonderful thrill. Echidnas, kangaroos and bandicoots are happy to wander in front of the cottages enabling city adults and children the chance of witnessing wildlife at its best.
Thousands of Rainbow Bee Eaters visit Avalon on their migratory flight to and from the northern tropical islands of New Guinea and Solomon islands every year. White Egrets eat the ticks off the cattle, willy wagtails eat spiders and insects and butterflies are frequent visitors to the retreat and sanctuary. Kangaroo families are permanent residents on the property. We have made it a rule that there is no hand feeding, as this makes wildlife easy prey to dogs and feral animals. On my arrival, there was no life whatsoever on the 30 acres, when I recall visiting my neighbours and seeing the birds flying up to my fence line and then flying away in the opposite direction, The idea of the property is to give people the opportunity to see that it certainly doesnâ€™t take that long to transform something barren into a beautiful and vibrant piece of land for all to enjoy.
The name Avalon to me means island, which is how I felt when I first arrived. I always bought extra trees so that when the local farmers dropped in to say gâ€™day and asked me what I was doing, rather than tell them they should plant trees I told them that I was planting windbreaks, and would they like a few trees to plant as I have some extra. This encouraged many people in this valley and surrounding areas to plant windbreaks thus helping to slow the damage by winds and providing shade for their cattle and a wildlife habitat. I hope that this will help transform peopleâ€™s ideas about looking after the planet, as we are all responsible and it is only a small space of time that is the difference between a desert and the Garden of Eden. I still enjoy seeing the excitement on peopleâ€™s faces when they witness magpies feeding their young with no fear and not attacking because of the happy, natural environment that they, as well as we, entertain.
Many of the trees I have planted are now majestic homes, testament to my soul and the spirit of Australia which I love with a passion. I hope my story will inspire everyone to never give up on their dreams and love, care and fight for this country and planet that is our home as one people.