Love forest with native trees planted on Tasmanian farm

Tasmania may still be closed to large parts of the world, but when its borders reopen, there will be an unusual sight to greet visitors.

On a small beef farm in the northwestern community of Table Cape, hundreds of native trees have been planted in the shape of a love heart.

It does not look like much from the ground up, but this “love heart forest” is likely to catch the attention of tourists before landing at the nearby airport at Wynyard.

“When you fly over the mantle, you expect a beautiful view, but you do not expect a big love heart,” says Cyndia Hilliger, who runs The Waterfront Wynyard Accommodation.

“It’s just a little extra something that’s a little unexpected, and I love it about tourism.

“It’s these opportunities to surprise and delight people in ways they do not expect.”

While the heart of love may be “Instagrammable”, tourism is far from the only reason it was planted.

Love your country

A man and a woman are standing on a grassy hill with a shovel with cubs in the distance.
Tom Adlide and Sarah Smith of New Gen Environmental Services say restorative work benefits local economies.(ABC Rural: Lachlan Bennett)

Hundreds of volunteers planted the love heart back in August as part of a project developed by CO2-compensating social enterprise Fifteen Trees, Landcare Tasmania and restoration company New Gen Environmental Services.

New Gens Tom Stamp said the reconstruction effort highlighted the importance of the natural environment of the region and how communities could be involved in such projects.

Landcare Tasmania project manager Jakob Sprickerhof said the project would serve an important environmental function given its proximity to the Table Cape Conservation Area and the Wynyard reserves.

“Hopefully it will connect Table Cape with the reserves we have in Wynyard, so birds and bandicoots and small animals moving through here will find places where they can live,” he said.

“When we planted, there was actually a wedge-tailed eagle hunting there. It was pretty spectacular to see.”

Production and protection

An aerial photo of a lush green coastal farm in Table Cape with hundreds of young trees planted in the shape of a love heart.
The forest is Instagrammabel, but tourism is just one of the reasons it was planted.(ABC Northern Tasmania: Craig Heerey)

The Heart of Love is just one of thousands of Landcare projects spread across Australia, many of which are located on working farms or private land.

Sir. Sprickerhof said many of the projects improved biodiversity while providing a “production advantage” for farmers.

“We put light belts or windbreaks on farmland, but we choose native species, and that creates habitats for animals and birds,” he said.

Jakob Sprickerhof from Landcare Tasmania stands on the farm with a shovel and a wooden guard.
Jakob Sprickerhof from Landcare Tasmania hopes that the forest will provide refuge for birds and animals.(ABC Rural: Lachlan Bennett)

Sir. Adlide said regenerative projects could also create jobs in regional communities, from weed management to fencing.

β€œIt needs to be recognized that there is that type of employment for society and it creates stronger communities, more jobs in reality,” he said.

Ms Hilliger said Tasmania’s tourism industry had a strong history of exploiting opportunities across different sectors.

“This is a great example of how something as functional as replanting trees could also be a tourist asset,” she said.

Tourist operator Cyndia Hilliger stands on a seafront promenade overlooking the harbor and marina.
Tourist operator Cyndia Hilliger says there is plenty of potential for sectors to work together on projects.(ABC Rural: Lachlan Bennett)

“It’s a great way to take advantage of the natural assets we have here on the northwest coast, and it’s a way to explore it in new and new formats.

“That’s what the tourism industry needs, and I see a lot of it post-COVID. We’ve all been forced to really think about what we do and how we do it and look for opportunities to work with different companies. . “

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