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R E G E N E R A T I O N BALANCING THE REGENERATION OF THE LANDSCAPES OF THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS, TASMANIA THESIS BY BEN OLLINGTON ben.ollington2@outlook.com MASTERS OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE 2018


“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used when creating them� Source: Massy, 2017


R E S I L I E N C E R E S T O R A T I O N R E H A B I L I T A T I O N BALANCING THE REGENERATION OF THE LANDSCAPES OF THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS, TASMANIA THESIS BY BEN OLLINGTON ben.ollington2@outlook.com MASTERS OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE 2018 SUPERVISOR: SIDH SINTUSINGHA


CONTENTS Project Summary Foreword 4 Abstract 5 Intent 7

The Gap Manifesto for Change System Under Scrutiny Expanding Territories Conservation on Private Land

23 25 27 29

Existing Efforts Designing Agriculture 51 Protection On Private Land 53 Collaboration 55 Education 59

1

01 02 03 04 05

A Wicked Problem Degenerative Agriculture Landscape Fragmentation The Human Side

11 17 19

The Northern Midlands Regional Context 33 Historical Landscape 37 Agricultural Landscape 39 Hydrological Landscape 41 A Biodiversity Hotspot 43 A Landscape At Risk 45


The Site : Ross Narrowing down Stake Holders Scenarios For Ross

63 69 71

06 07

Regeneration A Response for Ross Regenerating Ross

85 99

Supporting Sources

Bibliography 113

08 09 10

Opportunities & Tactics Problem Reaction 75 Solutions 77 A Starting Point 81

Conclusion

Regenerated Midlands From Speculation to Reality Our Expanding Future Acknowledgments

103 105 107 109

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01 3


I hope to use this thesis to record a particular area of interest for me and the current stage of my academic life. Given time restraints I expect this to open up more possibilities for study and thought rather than providing solutions. I hope that as I begin a professional career I can take my skillset gained through studying as a Landscape Architect to similar problems in which designers can work within a multi-disciplinary team and into the expanding fields explored in this thesis. Moving forward into my career I wish to delve deeper into an underlying theme of this thesis. That is to further uncover the role landscape architects may be able to play in smaller regional settings away from the common urban and city projects. I believe this thesis is merely the beginning for me and hope to continue work in the ecologial, conservation and agricultural domians. I see a real opportunity for design to become involved in this broadening area of the profession.

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Contemporary land management approaches have degraded many natural landscapes. Industrialised agriculture methods that disrupt and fragment vital ecosystems have a long history in Australia; and as we progress further into the Anthropocene era, these ecosystems are likely to decline further. Regenerative agriculture seeks to develop innovative best practice for farming across all scales and contexts. This thesis advocates that regenerative agricultural practice and conservation must take a multi-disciplinary approach to demonstrate an understanding of the multi-stakeholder nature embedded within this complex issue. This project is an exploration of the expanding territories of landscape architecture. The Northern Midlands of Tasmania is a vital area of global biodiversity, with many endangered and fragmented ecosystems. Their decline and separation is due to a long history of agriculture in the region and the risk is further exacerbated by climate change. The thesis proposal provides a speculation into the possibilities that could be available to be incorporated into existing conservation and protection work within Tasmanian organisations. It argues the benefit that design can bring as part of existing organisations and demonstrates how the Tasmanian landscape can be regenerated in order to restore and rehabilitate important landscapes and ensure their resilience.

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THESIS INTENT A BALANCING ACT This thesis is about repairing, restoring and conserving our landscapes, through the implementation of regenerative practices and speculation of ecocentric agriculture corridors and landscapes. Current industrialised agricultural approaches are driven by capitalist food production, consumption and the “mechanical mind�(Massy, 2017). Australian landscapes are being crippled, a once highly productive and resilient landscape, that has a long history of cultivation farming through the mutually beneficial indigenous farming practices and their understanding of the natural systems and adaption of these. As we creep further into the Anthropocene, climate instability will exacerbate the issues faced with degraded landscapes (Massy, 2017). This thesis does not call for a return to hunter gatherer style agriculture nor does it call for a transition to organic or permaculture methods. This work instead seeks to put forward alternative ways of managing the land and designing for change not only to protect the ecosystems at risk, but to ensure the livelihood of the communities reliant on farming. It is a complex issue of not only natural ecology and biology but human and social ecology.

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This work will provide an example of the multi-disciplinary approach required to tackle the problem. It will demonstrate how design can become involved with organisations that currently work within conservation and landscape regeneration, speculating how designers can work as co contributors amongst the other necessary professions. We must learn to respect, acknowledge and adapt with leading ecocentric agricultural knowledge systems in order to care for land, people and national climate resilience. Rather than being exclusively site specific, this project aims to generate flexible responses that have been adapted to the current and future landscape scenarios in the Northern Midlands. The project provides a vision for an enhanced land use, through the mutual understanding of design, conservation and farming.


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02 9


10


CARRYING CAPACITY

CARRYING CAPACITY

CARRYING CAPACITY 11

TIME IN PRODUCTION

TIME IN PRODUCTION

TIME IN PRODUCTION

DEGENERATIVE

SUSTAINABLE

REGENERATIVE

Source: Kiss The Ground, 2018


“Current agricultural practices based on chemicals, fossil fuels and machinery are simple not sustainable. The current system is poisoning our landscapes; the soil, the water; our food. ” Source: Massy, 2017

Modern industrial agricultural practices destroy landscapes.1They are not sustainable for the Earth nor the families and communities so embedded in farming. Agriculture currently uses 40% of the arable land on Earth, it produces food for a growing population that is expected to reach close to 10 billion by 20502. Earth and its intrinsic systems are a self-regulating system, it has the ability to heal itself given time. However, the current geological epoch of the Anthropocene suggests we have gone past giving the Earth the chance to heal itself. Sustainability is no longer enough.

The wicked problem here is that the multinational corporations that run the industrial food system are against the introduction of any methods that seek to restore ecosystems. This puts their monopoly of power at risk; power that relies on seeds linked to patented chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Our agricultural model is extractive, it is driven by the top end of town, it is about maximising profit for multi nationals that essentially determine what we put into our soils. With its intensive ploughing, mono-culture and heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides we are releasing carbon stored in the soil. Our soil is the greatest store of carbon after the oceans, as climate change intensifies surely we need do everything possible to increase sequestration.

As a result of this violent assault on our landscape we are simultaneously destroying it, and killing our soils. Biologically inactive soils have detrimental effects to many other ecosystem services.

“They are well aware that their methods are causing climate change, but they insist that it’s a necessary evil: if we want to feed the world’s growing population, we don’t have a choice – it’s the only way to secure high yields.” 3

There is a solution- Regenerative agriculture, instead of acting sustainably can we actually regenerate our modern industrial agriculture system and in turn regenerate our depleted landscapes? 1

Call of the Reed Warble: A New Agriculture - A New Earth, University of Queensland Press, 2017

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“…nature is our creation and we shall dominate and subjugate it,

for that is our divine destiny. We relinquished integration when we found consciousness and in rejection we move to disintegration” Source: McHarg, Design With Nature, 1969

It all starts with the

soil

60 % of agricultural soil is classed as

Food

Climate

Water

greater availability of nutrients

reduced GHG emissions

greater water retention and supply

“degraded” or “seriously degraded”

1-20 tonnes of topsoil lost for every tonne of food produced

more stored carbon

5-10 tonnes of carbon per hectare lost per annum through current farming practices

improved yields

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flood severity mitigated

Biologically Alive Soils


“Industrial farming – with its intensive ploughing, monoculture and heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides – is ruining our soils at breakneck speed, killing the organic materials that they contain.” Source: Massy, 2017

CO2

H2O

Overgrazed Poorly Managed Degenerative

CO2

H2O

Holistic Grazing Well Managed Regenerative

14


“Ecological grazing yields total ground cover, higher cover, deeper roots, more moisture absorption plus more biologically alive soils...� Source: The Guardian Online, 2017

CO2

H2O

Bare exposed soil Degenerative 15

CO2

H2O

Cover cropped Regenerative


Carbon Sequestration

Restored Ecosystems

Water Restoration

Abundant Nutritious Food

Farmer Prosperity

R E G E N E R AT I O N

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LANDSCAPE CONNECTIVITY A WICKED PROBLEM Habitat loss and fragmentation, through human intervention is primary threat to biodiversity, the provision of ecosystem services, and climate change resilience.(DPIPWE, 2018) Land clearing and land use alteration puts pressure on the environment and ecosystems. Loss, fragmentation and degradation of key ecosystems has a variety of impacts on native flora and fauna, soils and waterways. Fragmentation of vegetation can in turn disrupt essential ecosystems processes and make many species vulnerable. In Australia, around half the threatened species are considered to be at risk due to fragmentation in the landscape. A legacy of historic land clearing and a poor understanding of the ways the Australian landscape works significantly impact fragmentation and degradation in Australia. This presents a considerable challenge for land managers because redressing historical impacts can be costly and difficult. (ALCA, 2018) Continuing to provide agriculturally for a growing population is important, but this needs to be achieved in a way that mitigates habitat fragmentation. This requires a substantial shift in thinking across many sectors. (DPIPWE, 2018)

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As a way of dealing with these threats, increasing the amount of habitat preserved and improving landscape connectivity have emerged as biodiversity conservation priorities. It is now widely accepted that conservation planning must incorporate a landscape level approach, and consequently encompass multiple land tenures, including the private lands of Australia. (Tas. Land Conservancy, 2018) Continuing to provide agriculturally for a growing population is important, but this needs to be achieved in a way that mitigates habitat fragmentation. This requires a substantial shift in thinking across many sectors.

of

national significance for Australia

44% of Australia’s forests and woodlands have been cleared since European settlement


F R A G M E N TAT I O N PATCH WORK LANDSCAPE IN AREAS OF SETTLEMENT BETWEEN HABITATS 18


THE HUMAN SIDE THE GAP The landholder community is central to the success of biodiversity conservation in Australia, and the social value of biodiversity on private lands should not be underestimated. Not only are private lands home to many iconic native species, and those highly valued by the community, but private lands play a central and defining role in indigenous cultures across Australia.(ALCA) More than two-thirds of Australians live in capital cities, and there is an ongoing trend for people to move from regional areas into cities (ABS 2012). Consequently, many Australians now have minimal direct contact with people in rural and remote regions. This affects both the awareness and the sophistication of public discourse on land-related issues. Soil is effectively privately managed across much of Australia. However, the impact of healthy, functioning soils on the environment as a whole—such as improving water quality, protecting biodiversity and mitigating excess greenhouse gases—means that soil is also a large public good.(SOE, 2016)

Concerns have also been raised by Charles Massy in regards to the way society buys and consumes food. Far from the farms and landscape that produce the food we eat there is a push for our consumption to change. This is a complex area and one that is difficult to comprehensively cover in this thesis yet, there needs to be awareness within society about the way we farm and what is at stake if this continues. Initiatives such as urban farming are great ways to improve awareness but a wider social shift is required. Massy suggests that since the insertion of modern agriculture farmers have lost the ability to read the landscape and react accordingly, instead forcing more inputs on the land. For them to change they have got to admit they have been wrong for most of their lives. “The thing that is challenging about it is that you have got to be totally flexible to adjustment and really get your mind into how nature works and be able to change tactics.”

around

18% of Australia’s total land area is conserved 25

this needs to increase to at least % to meet international strategic goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity 19


“If people ate truly nutrient-rich food out of healthy soil, you would slash the national health bill straight away. The big chemical companies and big food companies know exactly what they are doing. It is now causing millions of deaths – tell me why that is not genocide?” Source: The Guardian Online, 2017

“Tests in Australia and in Britain have compared the quality of food grown in the 1940s compared to now. And when they measure the nutrients in that food, some of them have declined by as much as 90%” Source: Massy, 2017

"Farming is meant to be about growing food — a lot of the stuff we are producing now is hardly edible." Source: Massy, 2017

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03 21


22


MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE THE GAP Regenerative agriculture describes a multitude of methods that work to regenerate the landscape and its systems within active farmland. As well as current farming landscapes, sites that have suffered history of degradation through farming can benefit from regeneration. There are many different methods, strategies and approaches to regenerative agriculture. Key to understanding the term is that it is not a call for a new type of agriculture, instead its focus is on innovative responses from within the current system. It is an attempt to return landscape to how it functioned in a self regulating manner prior to colonisation. The system draws from decades of scientific and applied research by the global communities of organic farming, agroecology, holistic management, and agroforestry.

What needs to happen? Call of the Red Warbler offers a challenging account of the possible future of the complex human- land relationship. The main theme is the emergence of a regenerative era of agriculture, where humans match their interventions with the inherent ways of the land. Dr Charles Massy is unrepentant about criticising the bigend-of-town companies that promote chemicals in industrial farming, and the governments that don’t act.

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“One cannot gain true ecological literacy without a great empathy with, and understanding of, nature and how it functions� Source: Massy, 2017

WHAT IS IT?

Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services. Regenerative Agriculture aims to capture carbon in soil and aboveground biomass, reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulation. At the same time, it offers increased yields, resilience to climate instability, and higher health and vitality for farming and ranching communities. Increasing soil health - structural, chemical and biological properties Supporting a diversity of vegetation to moderate temperatures, provide habitat and build resilience Sequestering greater amounts of carbon from the atmosphere Retaining more water in the soil for uptake by plants and animals - extending the growing season Supporting health and biodiversity in soil microbes Facilitating healthy nutrient cycling Producing more nutrient-rich vegetation and livestock Regenerating, rather than degrading the natural resource base Building a landscape which is more resilient, especially to climate extremes Reducing input costs Smoothing out production and profit peaks and troughs Applying a technique that could sustainably feed growing global populations 24


SYSTEM UNDER SCRUTINY THE GAP The Australian landscape is unique to that of any other in the world. It evolved separately to the rest of the world and in doing so developed particular flora and fauna suited to our nutrient poor, dry soils. Colonisation saw an insertion of agricultural methods not fit for purpose in Australia, a disregard of indigenous land use begin a spiraling decline of the Australian native landscape. The industrial agriculture system receives scrutiny frequently many people call for change with valid solutions. There appears to be a severe lack in ability to facilitate and manage the implementation of new methods and practice. There are many stakeholders involved in a solution and each site is likely to have a very specific set of stakeholders. Can design act as a facilitator? Some of the most innovative people, ideas and stories of reversing the effects of industrial agriculture are from right here in Australia. Interventions are out there to increase yield within degrading landscapes, professions must combine to bring this to the forefront to make it a tangible option for all land owners. Not just the wealthy who can afford to lock land.

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82%

livestock grazing accounts for of the land area used for agricultural purposes in Australia.

2/3

nearly of Australia has been modified for human use, primarily grazing of native vegetation.

is expected, can the management of this be done in a better way? grazing native vegetation


The Australian landscape cannot support a European model of agriculture. There is call from multiple sectors within society for interventions to mitigate the impacts this has had and will continue to have.

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EXPANDING TERRITORIES THE GAP There is an obvious gap in landscape architecture theory and practice. Currently in landscape architecture there is beginning to be an exploration of the potential future of the profession. There is a push for landscape architects to be involved in areas that we are not traditionally known for. There are limited precedents within the area of agriculture and conservation and despite the push for it to become a more mainstream component of the profession, there is little support and guidance to do so. Firms such as Nelson Byrd Woltz provide key examples of work within this expanding territory of landscape architecture. Key to their success is the ability to acknowledge that they are not equipped to solve difficult ecological problems. Collaboration is vital for the success of projects within this field, being able to build the expertise from a variety of informed sources demonstrates the most success. There is a call for landscape architecture to become involved in regenerative agriculture from key publications such as Landscape Architecture Australia. However, there is no guidance offered or suggestions in how this can happen yet. It appears that much of the conversation here is based around highlighting the issues faced but is one dimensional and offers no real insight.

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Evidence suggests landscape architecture must become involved in this complex issue yet their remains little suggestions as to how this should happen or indeed limited design precedence.


Agriculture

Ecology

Agriculture

ORGANIC FARMING

Design

Ecology

Agriculture

Ecology

CONSTRUCTED ECOLOGY

PERMACULTURE

Design

Design

Agriculture

Ecology

COLLABORATION

Design

The current state of the profession in dealing with this ‘wicked problem’ 28


CONSERVATION ON PRIVATE LAND THE GAP Private lands fulfill an important function by increasing the area coverage of habitat preserved, and in many cases, increasing connectivity in the wider landscape. In doing so, private land conservation plays a vital role in maintaining and restoring the ecological processes on which we depend. Increasing and improving conservation of private lands, in alignment with national and state level conservation goals, will not only work to counteract the decline of biodiversity but also make private lands more resilient to climate change and capable of sustaining the ecosystem services on which both current and future Australians rely.(ALCA, 2018) The Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA) is a national conservation organisation working to promote the conservation of private lands in Australia. The Alliance is Australia’s first national organisation that brings together key participants in the private land conservation sector.

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The following seven organisations form the current membership of ALCA:

Nature Conservation Trust of NSW The Nature Conservancy – Australia Program Queensland Trust for Nature Nature Foundation SA Tasmanian Land Conservancy Trust for Nature (Victoria) National Trust of Australia (WA)

ALCA’s members bring a wealth of existing accumulated expertise, providing great potential to further enhance the private land conservation sector’s capacity, effectiveness and contribution to state and national conservation policy objectives.


Can design become a part of this conversation?

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04 31


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REGIONAL CONTEXT THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS The Northern Midlands of Tasmania is a unique region. The landscape changes from mountainous country on the eastern and western boundaries to extensive grazing lands renowed for fine wool production, the rich agricultural river flats of the Esk and Macquarie Rivers; historic towns and villiages; and from small business to multi million dollar enterprises. The local goverment area is an amalgation of many small communites and faces equity issues with the demographic reality of shrinking country towns and villages in the south, and growing commuter towns in the north. Most development occurs within the north of the region in Perth, Longford and Evandale. Another concern for the council is the responsibility of managing some of the most significant heritage sites and landscapes in Tasmania and indeed Australia, including the precious 19th century villages of Ross and Evandale.

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In the Northern Midlands 55% of the population resides in 5% of the total land. This highlights that there is a large amount of land not inhabited by humans, yet over 400,000 ha is privately owned land. This indicates that there are a lot of landscapes likely under some impact from humans. Moreover, this provides another level of challenge in land management and will require innovative ways to work with land owners. The population is expected to be maintained within the next decade, which makes this period an ideal time to undertake short and long term land management intervention.

Source: Northern Midlands Council, 2018


Northern Midlands Municipality Area: Population: Density:

5130km2 13000 approx. 55% of pop. in 5% of the land

Major Towns & Villages Perth Longford Cressy Evandale Epping Forest Campbelltown Ross Hobart Launceston

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REGIONAL CONTEXT THE NORTHERN MIDALNDS

“The Tasmanian Midlands is a patchwork of colours. White sheep are peppered across a paddock. There are red roofs, silver sheds, and swathes of brown soil, cultivated for crops. The patches of remnant native vegetation appear various shades of green. From a hill top, it’s all rather idyllic.”

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Evandale

Cressy Epping Forest

Campbell Town

Ross

36


HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS The region was one the first places to be settled within Tasmania upon colonisation as it formed part of the vital route between north and south. It is important to acknowledge here the Tasmanian Aborigines, specifically the Tyrernotepanner (Stony Creek) Nation who originally inhabited the region. These people used fire and managed the land effectively, and understood how the landscape worked. They were able to read the landscape, a feature that many modern farmers are not able to do successfully. Colonisation saw the implementation of a new type of land management in the region, one that was not suited to the landscape. And it saw a violent destruction of the Aboriginal people who did know how to manage the land. Efforts are being made currently to experiment and again learn how to manage the region through fire and other ancient methods in acknowledgment that what currently happens is not best practice. The Ross Bridge is the third oldest in Australia, built by convicts in 1836 and famous for its 186 carvings. In the last major flood in 2016, a large piece of sandstone from the bridge was knocked off as logs and tree trunks battered the structure. This highlights that is not only ecosystems at risk of destruction. Important historical pieces are at risk of destruction through a degraded landscape. 37

“There doesn't seem to be any other bridge in the world that has carvings along the arches the way the Ross Bridge does.�


The history of the Northern Midlands is portrayed through art. The cutouts (below) are scattered along the roadside through the region. The famous Glover landscape paintings (left) depict the landscape during early colonisation.

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AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS Tasmania is broadly known for its high quality agriculture across many sectors. Globally Tasmanian products occupy key niches in markets where quality is more important than prices. This is especially relevant in the Northen Midlands, where the flat plains and low rainfall allow the production of superfine wool to be produced. Upon colonisation the flat plains were rapidly utilised for sheep grazing.Many farms being owned for generations with a strong historical connection to the land. Environmental issues associated with sheep and cattle grazing include habitat loss, surface soil loss, salinity, and soil and water quality issues. Traditionally sheep grazed native grasses and this left the native ecosystems relatively intact, however in recent decades this intensified and now grazing plays a role in the degradtion of particularly native grasslands. Increased demand and the desire to diversify, meant that grazing is giving way to agricultrual pastures and irrigated cropping. This rapidly changes any landscape.(Midlands Agricultural Profile, 2012)

The clearing of land for this type of farming means losses in native landscapes. The impacts continue when chemicals and excess water are added to a landscape. The soil life begins to decline, the landscapes ability to hold and release water declines, and key ecosystems decline. As outlined below most of the land within the region is classified as being rural, and most of that is privatly owned, with most private land being generational farms. This highlights the likely complications for any landscape interventions.

An Agricultural Region Land Type

Area (ha)

Total Land Area Northern Midlands

513,844

Total Area in Rural Zone

469,758

Private land the in Rural Zone

400,645 Source: AK Consultants, 2012

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Grazing Effects on the Midlands lowland Grassland

Animals select new growth because it has higher nitrogen (protein) levels. The digestibility of what grows on the tips is higher. This is why animals select plants that are already over grazed. They have been eaten back to ground level and only have new leaf to offer. This explains why animals will always keep returning to the same plants under continuous grazing.

Land Capability For Agriculture

Land capability classification is an internationally accepted method of ranking the ability of the land to support a range of broad-acre agricultural activities on a sustainable basis. In Tasmania the system comprises seven classes ranked in order of agricultural versatility. Class 1 land is the best and Class 7 the poorest. Classification requires the synthesis and land information including soils, topography and climatic data

Class 3 Class 4

N

Class 5 Class 6 Class 7

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HYDROLOGICAL LANDSCAPE THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS The climate in the district is comparatively dry, with an average rainfall of approximately 500mm spread relatively uniformly throughout the year

MIDLANDS IRRIGATION SCHEME

In the region there are 200+ rivers and creeks and over 600 wetland type landscapes. These hydrological systems are important for the region and greater Tasmania. Climate Futures of Tasmania Reports show that there will be increased rainfall, runoff and evapotranspiration. It is important to understand what this will mean for the landscape. If regenerated, the landscape can become resilient to these changes, thus protecting the immediate region and the greater catchment and river systems. Degraded landscapes, do not have the ability to adapt to changes in climate. The report also suggests that for example only around 50% of the land will be suitable for farming wheat and barley. These two crops are among the most popular in the highly irrigated areas of the Northern Midlands, contributing to loss of habitat and native vegetation. The number of days when daily rainfall exceeds 20 mm is projected to increase in many of the agricultural areas of the state. This could increase the risk of flooding and in cropping areas, the potential for soil erosion. 41

“There also needs to be some consideration and careful soil analysis done as just dumping water on ground that traditionally has not seen irrigation methods- usually just rainfall...the salinity levels in the soil will go through the roof if careful soil analysis is not done to try and improve the soil structure so that the irrigated water is useful in growing crops.� Source: In Conversation, Grant Ollington, 2018 1


MAQUARIE RIVER IN FLOOD- ROSS BUILT 1836- CULTURAL ELEMENT AT RISK 42


A BIODIVERSTIY HOTSPOT THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS The Northern Midlands is within a biodiversity hotspot. There are only 15 of these hotspots in Australia; areas with high concentrations of species that are endemic (unique) to each region, and which are threatened with destruction.

Why here? The Midlands receive just 500mm of rainfall each year, on average. The combination of this dry climate and fertile dolerite soils (a relic of the landscape’s volcanic past) allows for a complex mosaic of ecosystems to thrive. In turn, these ecosystems support a range of endemic species. The lowland native grasslands, in particular, support a rich variety of lilies, orchids, daisies and other herbs in between patches of Wallaby Grass, Kangaroo Grass and other native tussocks.

Northern Midlands Southern Midlands

These grasslands, and the surrounding woodlands and forests, are also home to threatened animals like the Eastern Bettong and Eastern Barred Bandicoot. Biodiversity Hotspot Source: Bush Heritage Australia, 2017

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TASVEG 3.0 Groups

Agricultural, urban or exotic

Tasmanian Vegetation Monitoring & Mapping Program

Wet eucalyptus forest and woodland

Dry eucalyptus forest and woodland

Saltmarsh and Wetland Native Grassland (barely seen <10%) Highland and treeless vegetation

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Biodiversity is often used to describe the complexity of life in a certain area. If any single species in that area disappears, it will impact upon the other species in that same area.â&#x20AC;?

N

44


A LANDSCAPE AT RISK THE NORTHERN MIDLANDS Much of the decline of Australian biodiversity has occurred on private lands, where many of the major threats to biodiversity such as agricultural practices, grazing and clearing take place.

Northern Midlands:

With this unprecedented and continuing decline in biodiversity, it is no longer sufficient to rely on public protected areas alone for biodiversity conservation.

less than

10% of grassland remaining

As private landholders manage 77% of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s land area, including some of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important ecological areas, it is widely recognised that private land conservation is a crucial part of protecting Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environmental assets.

less than

30% of native vegetation remaining

Maintaining healthy ecosystems is important for the longterm viability of the goods and services that biodiversity provides, such as clean drinking water, nutrient recycling, soil retention and salinity control, pollination and seed dispersal, and carbon sequestration. These services are significant, and private land conservation offers great opportunities for linking conservation gains to production gains in the agricultural landscape.

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180

more than flora and fauna

species of threatened


C

A

D

A- Spotted Eastern Quoll B- Tas. Wedge Tail Eagle C- Tasmanian Devil D- Eastern Barred Bandicoot E - Eastern Bettong B

E

Animals AT RISK 46


C

A D

A- Golfers Leek Orchid B- Black Tipped Spider Orchid C- Silky Bush Pea D- Tunbridge Buttercup E - Kangaroo Grass

B

E

Plants AT RISK 47


A- Lowland Grassland B- White Gum Grassy Forest C- Ephemeral Wetlands

A

B

C

Vegetation Communites AT RISK 48


05 49


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DESIGNING AGRICULTURE EXISTING EFFORTS There are minimal landscape architecture responses that address conservation of ecological values and promote agricultural production. Often projects like this rely on wealthy people to buy the land and commission top end design firms to work on the project over long periods of time. For the vast majority of land owners this is not a tangible opportunity. Critically this is the issue and a barrier for design currently, the profession can only be invited into the equation with money. While there are firms that work within restoration ecology, and permaculture design, the links between the two are difficult to manifest into coherent design projects. Perhaps design needs to take a step back from a leading role and collaborate more as part of a multi- disciplinary team. The almost non existent design precedents goes some way to highlighting the gaps within the design field.

Nelson Woltz Byrd Landscape Architecture Part of firms Conservation Farming Studio. One of few Landscape Architect lead regenerative agriculture projects. This firm has been commissioned for a project in the Northern Midlands, Tasmania.

Orrongo Station Conservation Farm - A 3000 acre farm North East coast NZ with extensively damaged native flora and fauna through introduced sheep grazing. - Successful incorporation of ecological conservation and productive farmland. - Designers acted as facilitator, brining together ecological and biological sciences, and farmers. - Design derived from overlaying of ideas from the key stakeholders, taking their ideas and representing them through design.

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Source: NWBLA, 2012

The designers acted as facilitators taking the expertise from many disciplines and representing this in a designed landscape. This is the benefit of a designer in this problem, they are able to take the knowledge of others that may not necessarily be able to represent them.

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COLLABORATION EXISTING EFFORTS As a way of dealing with threats from degraded landscapes, increasing the amount of habitat preserved and improving landscape connectivity have emerged as biodiversity conservation priorities. It is now widely accepted that conservation planning must incorporate a landscape level approach, and consequently encompass multiple land tenures, including the private lands. Private lands fulfill an important function by increasing the area coverage of habitat preserved, and in many cases, increasing connectivity in the wider landscape. In doing so, private land conservation plays a vital role in maintaining and restoring the ecological processes on which we depend. Increasing and improving conservation of private lands, in alignment with set national and state level conservation goals, will not only work to counteract the decline of biodiversity but also make private lands more resilient to climate change and capable of sustaining the ecosystem services on which both current and future Australians rely.

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Collaboration and a multi disciplinary approach is supported by theory as a key part in forming a solution in landscape issues and regeneration. Designers may seek to work in a facilitative role to bring together an assemblage of parts.


Existing Covenants While positive, this is approach is one dimensional and highlights the fragmentation within the region. It is based on using the same farming methods and just locking land deemed of greatest importance. It fails to acknowledge that what happens at one point in the landscape effects the wider landscape.

Conservation Covenant on private land

N

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COLLABORATION EXISTING EFFORTS - Collaboration between landowners and ecologists to conserve at risk ecosystems within active farmland. - Financial incentive offered to farmers that meet ecological targets. - Most land in the region is privately owned, these projects acknowledge the difficulties this brings and ensure a close relationship is formed with landowners. - Design is less of an influence here, instead setting aside or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;lockingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; land for conservation appears the obvious tactic.

Bush Heritage Australia in Collaboration: Tasmanian Land Conservancy + Land Owners Project known as Midlandscapes.

Source: Bush Heritage Australia, 2017

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Collaboraion with science and farmers Where is design positioned?

This project while conserving land and protecting grasslands it is strongly reliant on wealthy farms that can lock land for a period of time. By inserting some more collaborators into the equation the project could become one that can be extended throughout the region. 56


COLLABORATION EXISTING EFFORTS

Beaufront property outside Ross that is part of conservation efforts within the region. Showing much difference can occur between properties. 57


Eco corridors exist in the Northern Midlands, predominately on private land. They provide benefit through linking critical habitats yet they lock land from agriculture. Can the new thinking be corridors that are ecological and agricultural? Can new interventions go beyond planting trees? Can design become involved and work with the Tasmanian Land Conservancy ?

58


EDUCATION EXISTING EFFORTS Farmers applying he aformentioned practices see themselves not as owners of the land but stewards of it. This connection, derived from experience, has given them the insight to understand that it is their responsibility to enhance and preserve their landscape for future generations. Such farmers should be recognised not simply as producers of food, but as the primary carers of the land and be rewarded accordingly.

NRM South initiative The primary objective of the Building Evidence  trial sites is to demonstrate the application of regenerative agricultural practices on farms in the southern Tasmanian region. The evidence collected through the trials will be used to support farmers interested in these techniques and improve the sustainable management of natural resources on their properties. These are successful in bringing farmers on board, because, “Trials are a low-risk approach”.

Experimenting in Ross Professor Bowman said that while the herbivores depend upon the grasslands, the grasslands depend upon fire disturbance, making the situation complex. “This scenario presents a real scientific conundrum,” he said. “You’ve got biodiversity values, the need to burn and also a whole lot of herbivores, including some abundance of nonnative ones. How do you fit that together to maintain your biodiversity values?” Tasmanian aboriginal people have used fire to manage landscapes for thousands of years, and Mr von Bibra has welcomed the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to carry out the patch burning as part of the experiment. “Through involvement with conservation organisations I have become aware of the obvious absence of connection [between aboriginal people] with the agricultural community and farming in the Midlands,” he said. Interview Source: Tasmanian Land Conservancy

59


60


06 61


62


NARROWING DOWN THE SITE: ROSS After gaining a deeper understanding of the region through a critical analysis of current efforts in conservation and farming I narrowed in to Ross and the surrounding landscape. Ross is a hotspot in terms of many things. It is an historical landscape with many colonial buildings as well as farming properties that have been owned for generations. It has as strong generational farming history and this is now starting to move into intensely irrigated cropping from grazing. Groups such as the Tas Land Conserv. are very active in protecting vital ecosystems in Tasmania and the midlands in particular especially due to the fragmentation across the valley. It is this group that I suggest designers could become involved in. The landscape around Ross is an area of particualr attention for the TLC with their Midlandscape Project focussing on locking land and increasing protected ecosystems on private land. Within the Ross area there are number of farms that are will known for conservation efforts. The Beaufront property is internationally famous for its wool and has been in the family since colonisation. This property works closely with the TLC to test methods and conserve land. Can this be increased to better capture the wider region instead of being fragmented. And why is it only wealthy landowners that can conserve land? 63

Ross + Surrounding Landscape N


2

1

Macquarie River

Tacky Creek

Ross

Western Tiers 1 Eastern Tiers 2 Midlands HWY

N

Chiswick RD 0

641km


NARROWING DOWN THE SITE: ROSS Land Use In the region around Ross highlights that the area is indeed fragmented. The modified pasture grazing areas are intermixed with some conservation covenants but its clear links are difficult. My speculations revolve around ideas that can happen within the modified pasture areas that make them healthier and safer for flora and fauna and thus it is easier to move between the protected areas, farms and natural habitat. Also reducing the heavily irrigated cropping areas that actually degrade the landscape locally and wider scale. These areas produce agriculturally and financially for land owners but require large inputs of water and chemicals. Interventions will ensure that the landscape as a whole is better adapted to and becomes a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;spongeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for water.

65


Ross

LAND USE N

N.T.S

Conservation Covenants

Land in Transition

Minimal Use areas

Cropping

Irrigated Cropping

Grazing Native Vegetation

Grazing Modified Pastures

66


NARROWING DOWN THE SITE: ROSS Narrowing in to the TASVEG map around Ross shows that minimal native vegetation particularly grassland exists. And if compared with the map on the previous page it is clear to see that many native at risk ecosystems occur on the land use areas that have high agricultural value. Looking to the previous sections of this book at the suitability of land for agriculture maps it is clear to see that not much land in the region is highly suitable and i suspect this is due to the land having so many unique ecosystems that are at risk from extractive and harsh land management practices. The key problem for Ross and the surrounds can be summarised as follows: While recognised as nationally important for biodiversity and agriculture many of the current efforts are not effective in reducing the fragmentation that occurs through farming. I speculate that there could be new approach that draws on the current efforts but elevates them. These speculations will be region wide and take time but essentially protect and regenerate what is at risk while ensuring farming can continue.

67


Ross

TAS VEG

Agricultural, urban or exotic

Native Grassland (barely seen <10%)

Dry eucalyptus forest and woodland

Saltmarsh and Wetland

N

N.T.S Refer Page 44.

Wet eucalyptus forest and woodland 68


STAKEHOLDERS THE SITE: ROSS The site immediately surrounding Ross is diverse and in being so has a diverse number of stakeholders that are applicable here. Ross is interesting because it sits within the route between Launceston and Hobart and as such is a town frequented by tourists. This means that not only locals are involved as stakeholders and potential raising awareness around the issues could reach a wider audience. Exisitng efforts by groups such as Bush Heritage Aus., Greening Australia and TLC all work in the region currently in some capacity. In the Southern Midlands the NRM South group is active in regenerative agricultural testing this needs to spread into the NRM North It is important to acknowledge all stakeholders because as a designer coming into this field the other professions, individuals and groups are likely to have a greater knowledge. It is also important to recall that the roles of each stakeholder will be greater or reduced in different scenarios and thus their influence on projects is fluid. When landscape architecture become a stakeholder they are able to facilitate and appreciate the needs and goals of all stakeholder and work within this accordingly. Designers to will need to be flexible and understand that in some scenarios their particular skillset is of lesser importance. 69

STAKEHOLDERS Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) Greening Aus. Bush Heritage Aus. Farmers Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association (TFGA) NRM Council Government- state- federal Ecologists Biologists Designers Local Residence not involved with farming Tourists Local Businesses University Researchers (UTAS) Tasmanian Aboriginal Corportation Landscape Architecture ?


TESTING A BOTTOM UP APPROACH ACROSS MULTIPLE SECTORS Education, testing and experimentation across many sectors is one dimensional currently in Ross. It benefits the landscape but still manifests in a fragmented type way. Involving students, researchers and professionals can to limit this.

70


SCENARIOS FOR ROSS THE SITE: ROSS HOW DESIGN BECOMES INVOLVED: TLC sell properties and use the money to fund protection. Designers actually have roll to play within the TCL- they work with the ecologist etc to design a property that is ecologically viable while having a designed aesthetic/impact able to sell the property for more. When TLC work with landowners- designers also are involved to redesign and plan the property to maximise conservation space while also maintaining active farming land- this would mean utilising regenerative practices to ensure that farming methods donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t impact the conservation methods. Also by restoring the landscape health there is the possibility that there could be an increase in these ecosystems and communities on the property- this might have a financial benefit associated with it? a. This scenario might use the current sites to demonstrate to other landowners from scenario 1, the benefits of such methods TLC/Bush heritage etc work with council on land that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t private- to be able to link corridors with the private land covenants/corridors. This might mean that a landscape architect works in council or closely with council because council will often need to please a wider group of people- (Site near Ross grassland) a. Here the designer would shift more to the front of the pack. Design here would likely be associated with a site that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t used as farming currently but has previously been impacted by it. b. And/or demonstrating how interventions here can benefit the greater landscape down the river. Councils would probably be supportive of this as they would want to protect as many citizens in the region from impacts of floods etc. 71

Developing likely scenarios for Ross is important to be able to understand how the likely ownership scenarios will impact the selected area. (Opposite Page) Once the scenarios are established a reponse that involves design can be specualted upon to fit with the situation presecribed in the scenario. Each scenario will require a different appraoch as they are situated in different areas of the Ross region. Design will either play a small, large or in between role as the scenarios differ. This highlights that design will not always take the lead, instead working within the team.


1

Changing Ownership. The land is purchased and or leased by TLC with the primary intention of managing it for biodiversity conservation purposes.

2

Changing property rights. Rather than outright purchase or leasing, the landowner agrees to forego some of their development rights for the purpose of conserving biodiversity. As an example, in conjunction with a land trust, the landowner may establish a conservation covenant over a part of their property, binding themselves and future owners of the property to protect the biodiversity values of the covenanted land.

3

Changing practices. Rather than affecting property rights, this approach involves landholders changing their practices in order to protect, conserve, or restore biodiversity on their land. This may happen through supporting, educating, or informing landholders to change their outlook â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and create a sense of shared responsibility for biodiversity conservation.

4

Conservation on public land. This approach seeks to work with local council and government owned land in order to build a coherent network of conservation sites. Here the trust would work with local government on projects to restore, or enhance sites that achieve ecological goals for the trust but also meet goals for the council. An example of this could include increasing ground cover and root depth to improve heavily grazed grasslands, while also mitigating negative impacts from floods that benefit the municipality 72


07 73


74


PROBLEM AND REACTION OPPORTUNITIES & TACTICS Regenerative Agriculture Principles: Consider what happens when the sun shines on a grass plant rooted in the earth. Using that light as a catalyst, the plant takes atmospheric CO2, splits off and releases the oxygen, and synthesizes liquid carbon–sugars, basically. Some of these sugars go to feed and build the aerial portions of the plant we can see, but a large percentage of this liquid carbon somewhere between 20 and 40 percent travels underground, leaking out of the roots and into the soil. The roots are feeding these sugars to the soil microbes the bacteria and fungi that inhabit the rhizosphere in exchange for which those microbes provide various services to the plant. Now, what had been atmospheric carbon (a problem) has become soil carbon, a solution and not just to a single problem, but to a great many problems. Besides taking large amounts of carbon out of the air—tons of it per acre when grasslands or cropland are properly managed that process at the same time adds to the land's fertility and its capacity to hold water. Which means more and better food for us. (Soils For Life, 2018)

75

This process of returning atmospheric carbon to the soil works even better when ruminants are added to the mix. Every time a calf or lamb shears a blade of grass, that plant, seeking to rebalance its "root-shoot ratio," sheds some of its roots. These are then eaten by the worms, nematodes, and microbes—digested by the soil, in effect, and so added to its bank of carbon. This is how soil is created: from the bottom up ... For thousands of years we grew food by depleting soil carbon and, in the last hundred or so, the carbon in fossil fuel as well. But now we know how to grow even more food while at the same time returning carbon and fertility and water to the soil.


PROBLEM

PROBLEM

Extractive agriculture leaves soil bare with biologically disrupted and dead soil structure

REACTION

Water cannot be stored in the soil when it is dead soil- runoff occurs- resulting in lose of soil

REACTION

Application of N P K to bring soil back to life. Initial boost but soon requires more. Insecticides kill of predators but they come back stronger so more chemicals are used.

Dead soil with with no water held in land results in excessive irrigation dumped on landscape Rising water table + salinity issues.

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SOLUTION STRATEGIES CO2

CO2 77

H2O

CO2

Landscape scale sequestration. Land that is no longer used for farming will be restored through regenerative practices to create large stores of carbon through soil creation and recharge the hydrological landscape as a sponge.

CO2


Pasture Cropping. Short rooted annual crops intermixed with long rooted perennials ensure maximum ground cover all season. With grazing the nutrient cycle reignites and soil becomes alive again. This process should be implemented region wide on Ross. Broadly it will ensure maximum ground cover so soil can be built, the land will also be recharged through water retention. It will also allow cropping to continue to grow in the region as a key new growth area. But intermixing deep rooted perennials will boost biodiversity. Grazing can occur here and is indeed encouraged to further boost the nutrient cycle. Grazing paddocks with this type of planting will allow other areas to be rested. This means that native vegetation areas that are currently grazed will be rested and allowed to grow through their life cycle.

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SOLUTION STRATEGIES

Managed Grazing. By giving the landscape time to rest, native vegetation can grow through its life cycle. Current practices revolve around locking land long term. This approach limits this instead precisely timed grazing allows areas to rest after being heavily grazed to promote new growth. Trampling and large grazing is promoted but constant monitoring is key to know when to move animals on. 79

Recharging the Land. Leaky weirs from common farm materials, used on creeks to slow water and spread laterally with re-vegetated creek edges mean water is stored again. Landscape makes better use of water and mitigates flood risks. This approach will be used in the region because of the many small creeks- these can be small bottom up DIY approaches on farms that over time recharge the landscape- mitigating flood and promoting vegetation growth through healthy soil production.


Restoring Land. Keyline system means cuts are made in the land on slopes to laterally spread water as it moves across the land. This ensures water is spread and can be retained in the land, reducing erosion and run off. This process will be used on the Eastern slopes of the Ross Area, this will begin to spread water laterally and recharge the land. As the soil becomes more biologically active and vegetation grows, corridors will begin to grow linking the eastern tiers to these areas.

Agroforestry+ Keyline. Integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming landscapes- ensures a greater whole system ecology. This process can begin with building from the rivers and creeks outwards in Ross. These areas are not used for farming but this intervention will ensure benefits are felt on farming land by recharging the lands ability to store water and build soil.

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A STARTING POINT STRATEGIES There needs to be a starting point. Any process, intervention or speculation to regenerate land on a wide regional scale will take time. In this site the starting point will be the rivers and creeks, as well as the slopes nearest the Eastern Tiers. These areas have been selected as a starting point for their ability to show initial improvements without impacting too heavily on land ownership. Most land in the region is publicly owned so interventions here will take time and many meetings and discussions will need to occur. Starting with the creeks and rivers on public land will ensure that private land owners are not put out but begin to see the benefits on their own land as the landscape is brought back to health. This suggestion minimises initial risk for land owners as they have time to observe and understand how interventions actually work. This suggestion is all about providing a starting point. As landowners are often reluctant to change practice, the interventions need to be small but overtime can grow to show large positive impacts. (Massy, 2017)

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Initial interventions start at Tacky Creek and Macquarie River. The positive impacts of leaky weirs and vegetation here will restore the landscape and landowners will be able to learn and understand the benefits, eventually rolling out similar tactics on their own land.

The slopes to the North East of the site will another starting point. This area has the ability to quickly be regenerated to link the eastern tiers this will mean a short term benefit can be seen creating a corridor. Coming down the slope towards Tacky Creek overtime will grow this corridor


N

Midlands HWY Chiswick RD

0

1km

82


08 83


84


RESPONSE FOR ROSS REGENERATION Four likely scenarios have been selected. These have been developed through an understanding of similar conservation situations in Tasmania and agricultural land use and ownership. Each scenario will need a slightly tailored response in order to successfully sit within the wider work of the TLC and local government. Generally these speculations for the Northern Midlands have been used to highlight how design can become involved in similar scenarios.

1

Changing Ownership

Changing Rights

3

4

Changing Practice 85

2

Public Land


86


RESPONSE FOR ROSS REGENERATION

Ross

Scenario 1

1

Pasture Cropping

Scenario 2

2

Revegetation/Keyline

Scenario 3

3

Conservation area

Scenario 4

4

Managed Grazing

87

Ross Bridge Midlands HWY Chiswick RD

A


3

1

3 2 3 2 3 2 2

2 2

1

4 1

A

1

88


1+4

Enhance social engagement with ecosystems on purchased and public land. 89


“Before industrialized agriculture was developed, the world’s grasslands and farms contained hundreds of plant species of all sorts. And they functioned with very few problems like disease, insect attack, or weeds because it was a balanced ecosystem. Pasture cropping returns that balance. It also creates good, rich soil with high carbon levels and good water-holding capacity.”

3

Pasture cropping will ensure maximum ground cover and soil production. Small scale intervention to regional benefits. 90


Region Wide Key Line System.

1 + 2 +3

Regional Benefits through recharging the landscape to spread and store water. 91


Local Farm Key Line System.

2+ 3

Testing of new methods to restore landscape functions. Farm scale interventions. 92


1 + 2 +3

Local farm landscape materials DIY approach to recharging landscape. 93


1 + 2 +3 Landscape interventions to regenerate active farmland- wider landscape goals

94


1+2+3+4

Collaboration accross all sectors

95


2+3

Managed grazing within native vegetation areas. Holistic grazing. 96


4

Interaction and learning about the landscape. Vital link in corridors. 97


4

Enhance social engagement with ecosystems on public land. Part of corridors between private and public. 98


RESTORATION OVER TIME REGENERATION

10-15 YEARS IN FUTURE

99


Restored Riparian Zone has regenerated the soil in surrounding farmland ensuring flood mitigation as well as ecoogical protection

Keyline System and Agroforestry has created links between fragmentated patches of vegetation. Water moving over slope is spread and stored in landscape . Conservation areas developed at edge of Eastern Tiers these form social links and social interaction within the region, promoting the protection.

Restored Creek has improved lands ability to hold and store water during flood. Managed grazing here has meant grasslands are not over grazed and allowed time to grow and store carbon. Degraded land has been rehabilitated and wetland restored for human use. A wetland walk and information centre provide information on conservation.

Managed Grazing has given the native grasses time to rest and grow. Pasture cropping has ensured groundcover all year round and been able to build soil.

N

100


09 101


102


A REGENERATED MIDLANDS CONCLUSION GOALS Speculating on goals that would help moving into the next stage after this project and what would need to happen moving forward to achieve outcomes

G1-

Begin intensive site investigation to understand region at a greater level and start to grade level of landscape at risk.

G5- Establish

relationship with landowners to test interventions on their land. Invite other land owners from the region to be involved.

G2- Develop a whole region masterplan highlighting staging

G6- Establish a role within the Tasmanian Land Conservancy

G3- Present a regional masterplan to local council and to

G7- TLC

G4- Develop

G8- Pop up installations within town centres of the Midlands

possibilities and the creation of a Network of Corridors

Tasmanian Land Conservancy.

links with current work in the Southern Midlands and build relationship with the regenerative agriculture work currently taking place there. Build links between NRM South and NRM North.

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for a landscape architect and develop a plan to increase the role of design within conservation

participation in local, national and international forums will facilitate the exchange of knowledge for collaborative conservation outcomes.

to promote the conservation of the local landscape and highlight the importance of agriculture. Design public use areas in these centres to raise social awareness.


A network of sites A network of possibility Plan for the future of the region by highlighting key at risk areas and plan for them to become linked in the future.

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FROM SPECULATION TO REALITY CONCLUSION While the work presented here has been relatively speculative it is important to think about how it would become a reality. Speculation was important because of the limited knowledge and evidence of landscape architecture working within the problem that was presented. A solution is unlikely, as change will take a long period of time. To bring the ideas of this thesis to reality a significant shift is needed not only locally but globally in thinking about how we grow and consume our food. Further compounding this is that the agriculture industry is run my multi national companies that invest billions into the current production method. It is important to note that this project is site specific to the Northern Midlands. This area faces significant conservation threat and is significant for agriculture. This work is not about stopping farming in order to increase conservation, it is instead speculating on how farming landscapes can be managed differently in order to mitigate negative effects on vital ecosystems.

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A bottom up grass roots is likely to yield the best results based on evidence supplied in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Call of The Reed Warblerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. I believe that this book is truly a manifesto for change, it reaches out to so many professions and us as individuals and a society. This thesis highlights that any efforts to regenerate the landscape must take a multi disciplinary approach. It is time for design to take a step back from its often elitist persona than can often be portrayed through urban and city based projects. While these projects are important, landscape architecture is an expanding profession and thus we must diversify and adapt. Working within this realm of regeneration, conservation and agriculture requires an adaptation by landscape architecture to acknowledge that other professions are better equipped to evaluate the problem . As this thesis advocates there are likely to be different scenarios in all landscapes where a designers role may increase or decrease accordingly. I think that this is key for integrating design within conservation and


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OUR EXPANDING FUTURE CONCLUSION This thesis seeks to explore the broadening domain of landscape architecture and design. As the profession develops it is inevitable that it will need to involve itself amongst other professions and organisations that in the past have appeared out of our realm. This work places landscape architecture as part of the discussion surrounding agricultural land use and food production, as well as conservation efforts. The speculations here are not generalised. Instead it shows a series of design opportunities for a specific location and its inherent values. The Northern Midlands is a vital agricultural landscape and equally has very site specific natural values, and as such the speculations are suited to this locale. In saying this however, the desire for this project is that it becomes a suggestion and insight into the ways design can respond to similar instances both nationally and internationally.

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Cross-disciplinary collaborations, fluidity and permeability have become more important than ever and landscape architects are in a unique position to work across complex sites and between diverse fields. This is a moment to expand our relevance and reach. The examples provided in this thesis are in response to the Northern Midlands and Ross, and they show design has the capacity to supply other prevalent organisations with vital support and direction. There are no definitive solutions here, instead speculations on where the expanding territories of the design profession may lead.


Clear evidence that this is indeed an expanding area for landscape architecture, one that will be discussed at the International Festival of Landscape Architecture 2018.

108


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS CONCLUSION I would like to thank a number of people for their contribution and support during the course of this project. I would like to sincerely thank Sidh Sintusingha who supervised my work and provided excellent feedback and guidance and supported me in my push to speculate on the future of landscape architecture. Also the feedback from the critique panel was valuable and insightful. I would also like to show my appreciation of my fellow thesis peers who inspired me all semester to work harder and push myself. I would like to thank my parents back home in Tasmania not only for their support this semester but throughout my whole degree at the University of Melbourne. Without their support over the years I doubt I would have succeeded. My girlfriend Olivia, thank you for putting up with my stress and anxiety at home over the years and supporting me especially during my extended stressful periods.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY SUPPORTING SOURCES Books: Gammage, Bill, 2012, The Biggest Estate on Earth, How Aborigines made Australia, Allen and Unwin. Massy, Charles, 2017, Call of the Reed Warble: A New Agriculture - A New Earth, University of Queensland Press. Pascoe, Bruce., 2014,Dark Emu: black seeds agriculture or accident?, Broome, W.A. Magabala Books.

Articles, Reports & Essays: ACE CRC 2010, Climate Futures for Tasmania general climate impacts: the summary, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Tasmania. Retrieved From: http://acecrc.org.au/climate-futures-fortasmania/ ACE CRC 2010, Climate Futures for Tasmania impacts on agriculture: the summary, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Tasmania. Retrieved From: http://acecrc.org.au/climate-futures-fortasmania/ Jackson WJ, Argent RM, Bax NJ, Bui E, Clark GF, Coleman S, Cresswell ID, Emmerson KM, Evans K, Hibberd MF, Johnston EL, Keywood MD, Klekociuk A, Mackay R, Metcalfe D, Murphy H, Rankin A, Smith DC, Wienecke B, 2016, Overview: Land-use change, and habitat fragmentation and degradation threaten ecosystems and resilience. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, Retrieved From: https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/overview/ topic/land-use-change-and-habitat-fragmentation-and-degradationthreaten-ecosystems.

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Metcalfe D, Bui E 2016, Land: Soil. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra. Retreived From: https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/land/topic/2016/soil. Australian State of The Environment Report, 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra. Retreived From: https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/land/topics

Videos: Friendly Farms, “Call of the Reed Warbler - Charles Massy in conversation with Costa Georgiadi”, interview video, December 9 2017, accessed February 3 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xlc-5gnbaQ Science at ANU, ANU Long- term ecology, transforming the farming landscape, video, June 5, 2017, accessed February 4 2018. http://www.ianpotter.org.au/news/blog /transforming-the-farminglandscape/ Taylor, Kristine, 2017, Wooleen Station couple taking radical stand to recover ancient outback property, Australian Story, ABC, May 2017. Retrieved From: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-08/wooleen-station-couple-takingradical-stance-over-regenerations/8484476 TedXTalks, 2016, Regeneration of Our Lands: A Producer’s Perspective. Retrieved From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfTZ0rnowcc&t=1s

Images:

Chapter Cover Images: Department of Environment, https://www.flickr.com/photos/envirogov/ Page 16 Diagrams: Kiss The Ground, 2018 Retrieved From: https://kisstheground.com/ regeneration/


Online: Australian Institute of Ecological Agriculture,2018. Retrieved From: http:// ecoag.org.au/about/

Bush Heritage Australia, 2017: Paying the way to Conservation, Bush Heritage Retrieved From: https://www.bushheritage.org.au/newsletters/2017/winter/

Australian Land Conservation Alliance, 2018, Conservation on Private Land. Retrieved From: http://www.alca.org.au/conservation-on-private-land/ Barber, Dan, 2014, The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, New York, The Penguin Press Bill Mollison & David Holmgren, 1982, Permaculture One: A Perennial Agriculture for Human Settlements, Tyalgum, NSW. Berry, Thomas,2000, The Great Work: Our Way into the Future. Retrieved From: ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?d irect=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.43809156&site=eds-live&scope=site. Bertsch, Dakotah, 2011 Restoration Ecology in Agrarian Landscapes, The Dirt, Uniting the Built & Natural Environments, American Society of Landscape, Retrieved From: https://dirt.asla.org/2011/11/01/restoration-ecology-inagrarian-landscapes/ 18 Bradley, Kirsten, 2010, Pasture Cropping, Milkwood Permaculture. Retrieved From: https://www.milkwood.net/2010/12/07/why-pasture-cropping-is-sucha-big-deal/ Bush Heritage Australia,2017, Tasmanian Midlands, Bush Heritage Australia, Retrieved From: https://www.bushheritage.org.au/places-we-protect/ tasmania/midlands Bush Heritage Australia, 2017, A Biodiversity Hotspot, Bush Heritage Australia, Retreived From: https://www.bushheritage.org.au/newsletters/2017/winter/ biodiversity-hotspot

Bush Heritage Australia, 2017, Farming for Change, Bush Heritage Australia, Retrieved From: https://www.bushheritage.org.au/newsletters/2017/winter/ farming-for-changepaying-way-to-conservationRetrieved From: http://www. keyline.com.au/ Cummins, Ronnie, 2017, Beyond Organic: How Regenerative Farming Can Save Us From Global Catastrophe, Eco Watch. Retrieved From: https://www.ecowatch.com/regenerative-agriculture-cummins-2428092458.html Eichhorn, Markus, 2016, What is a natural system?, in Natural Systems: The organisation of life, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. Retrieved From: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118905982.ch21/pdf Gilbert, Jock, 2018, Call of the Reed Warbler: A manifesto for regeneration, in Landscape Architecture Australia Ian Potter Foundation, 2017, Transforming the Farming Landscape, Retrieved from:http://www.ianpotter.org.au/news/blog/transforming-the-farminglandscape/ Jackson, Wes, 1994, Becoming native to this place, University Press of Kentucky. Retrieved From: http://www.jstor.org.ezp.lib.unimelb.edu.au/ stable/j.ctt5hk00c. Keyline Designs, 2012, P.A Yeomans, The Keyline Systems. Landis, Douglas A., 2017, Designing agricultural landscapes for biodiversitybased ecosystem services, Basic and Applied Ecology, 18. Retrieved From: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1439179116300950

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BIBLIOGRAPHY SUPPORTING SOURCES Land Information Systems Tasmania, 2018. https://maps.thelist.tas.gov.au/ listmap/app/list/map

Soils For Life, 2017, Regenerative Practice. Retrieved From: http://www. soilsforlife.org.au/change.html

Lumb Mick, 2014, Land Degradation, The Australian Collaboration: A Collaboration of National Community Organisations. Retrieved From: http:// www.australiancollaboration.com.au/pdf/FactSheets/Land-degradationFactSheet.pdf

Susan Chenery,2017, Farmer wants a revolution: ‘How is this not genocide?’, The Guardian Newspaper Australia, September 23. Retrieved From: https:// www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/23/farmer-wants-arevolution-how-is-this-not-genocide

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THESIS BY BEN OLLINGTON ben.ollington2@outlook.com MASTERS OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE 2018 116


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