Roisin Ritchie and Trace Gordon, Tallowood residents
As residents of Tallowood Ridge community in Mullumbimby, we have the enormous privilege of living at the edge of a rare, remnant, old-growth forest.
Each morning we walk along the ridge, through this towering forest of brush box and tallowwood and it is alive with wallabies, gliders, birds, and koalas. We look north to Mt Chincogan and west along the range to Wollumbin, across the largest and oldest shield caldera in the world. We see the remnant plugs of a volcano that blew more than 20 million years ago. It is a breathtaking, quietening and humbling experience.
With the privilege of our proximity to this forest comes a responsibility to care for and protect it. Recently a Tallowood Ridge Landcare group was formed. Weeds are being removed and nesting boxes placed high up in the old trees.
The intention is to establish a publicly owned nature reserve along the ridge to ensure the long-term protection of this very special place. Tallowood developer, Eric Freeman, has offered to gift the forest to the Council, to ensure proper management in perpetuity. To date, Council has not agreed, and in the meantime some private landowners have removed large trees from the ridge.
In mid-October, there is a Council planning meeting to make approvals for the last two stages (8/9) in Tallowood Ridge Estate. As it stands, the forest is slated to go into the private hands of the Stage 9 Community Title landholders. Stage 9 is not adjacent to the forest, nor is there a guarantee that under private ownership the forest will be protected.
To ensure the integrity of the forest, and its ongoing care and protection, we ask that Council agree to take over the management as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Tallowood Landcare Group is holding a community get together at The Gathering Tree, on the corner of Lorikeet Lane and Cockatoo Cres, on 17 October. All are welcome. See you there.