Clarence Valley Independent

Graduate is a local wildlife warrior

Weeping Paperbark

The weeping paperbark is listed as an endangered species and if current trends are not reversed, the NSW Scientific Committee has determined it is at great risk of extinction in the Clarence Valley.

A campaign, spearheaded by TAFE NSW Diploma of Conservation and Land Management graduate Peter Turland, to protect a small population of the species on crown land has seen a much-loved flora reserve developed to protect a colony of the species in Tucabia.

Since its inception in 2009, the reserve is now thriving and has TAFE NSW students, local school students and groups coordinated by the NSW Department of Justice visit the protected area to listen to Mr Turland speak passionately about revegetation projects.

Mr Turland said he owes his career and attributes the root of his passion to his education to TAFE NSW. After completing a science degree at university, Mr Turland decided to study a Diploma of Conservation Land Management in 2007 at TAFE NSW Trenayr.

“Thank gosh someone suggested studying at TAFE NSW because it changed my whole direction in life.

“I am in a career that I love thanks to TAFE NSW and I am helping the community to properly protect the environment we live in.”

While educating the community on how we can better protect it, Mr Turland continues to set in place a plethora of initiatives in order to protect our local environment.

Since 2015 Mr Turland has planted 5,000 native plants for a biodiversity and revegetation project in Pillar Valley. The project is focused on planting important native species that have become uncommon, for example various species of eucalyptus trees to provide food for koalas in the area.

Working with Land for Wildlife, Nature Conservation Council, Clarence Environment Centre and Local Land Services, Mr Turland has been installing nest boxes in the community since 2010 to protect and preserve wildlife. These boxes provide a nesting or roosting place for fauna, including threatened species such as squirrel gliders, when hollow-bearing trees are removed from an area.

Because of these initiatives and more, in 2018, Mr Turland was awarded the Jim Knight Memorial Landcare Award for his work towards preserving the environment.

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