Linda and Roger's Bunhybee Grasslands
AGHS Visit – Saturday 10 December 2011

This is a page within Roger and Linda's Bunhybee Grasslands Web-Site.
Bunhybee Grasslands is a 49 hectare / 120 acre conservation property.
It is 35km south of Braidwood, in southern N.S.W.
You can follow through the internal links, or you may find it easier to use the Site-Map.

Australian Garden History Society (AGHS), Monaro Division, visited Bunhybee, as part of a Christmas Party event.

AGHS is concerned with the conservation of significant cultural landscapes and historic gardens. That mostly means parks and gardens that have been planted and nurtured. But what about a landscape that was significantly altered by human activity, possibly by aboriginal people through low-intensity burning over an extended period prior to white man's arrival, and certainly by clearing in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, and has thereby become high-quality native Southern Tablelands Grassland?

A Property Brochure was prepared for the occasion, also available in PDF format.

Our Introduction

Our notes for the lead-in to the visit were as follows:

From AGHS's perspective, it's God's Garden rather than a human's, but definitely Australian (225 native species); and we'll talk some History. So it's within-scope.

You have a Brochure each.

The Great Divide is just over there to the West, including the Canberra / Captain's Flat Radar.
The Shoalhaven, running from South to Nort, is just over that ridge to the East.
A tributary, Jerrabattgulla Ck, runs South to North down there in the gully.
Up to the South-East is Bunhybee Peak, 946m.
The property slopes from 760m at the forest fringe to 710m at the gate.
There is Eucalyptus forest above.
The lower slopes have open snow-gum woodland, some perhaps originally grassland.
The rainfall is 750mm p.a. (30ins) cf. Canberra 700mm.
In 2001-09, the rainfall was 77% of long-term average (cf. 82% in Canberra), in 2010 150%, in 2011 100%.
It's a very windy LGA, hence there's a high evaporation-rate.

During the Indigenous Period, there may have been low-intensity burning, which would have improved the soil.
In 1822, Throsby's party continued from the Limestone Plains towards the coast.
In 1828, there was a grant at Toggeranong (but four names since then).
In the 1840s. there were grants, leases, sales nearby, of what was clearly seen as good land.
It's always been thinly populated pastoral properties, sheep and cattle / cattle and sheep.
There have been lots of Irish names, some still here.
In the 1840s, it was close to the 'limits of settlement', and in the 1860s there were active bushrangers.
There's been ongoing subdivision since the 1950s, but with some leaseback / agistment.
There is good-quality land management nearby – waterlines, weeds, grass.

The provenance of the title not yet clear.
There was a presumed grant or purchase 1840-1870. [Since established as 1882-1893.]
Presumably cleared 1845-1890 (higher, so not likely to be a priority for clearing?). [1884-1896.]
Water supply insufficient to justify investment, so no seeding or superphosphate.
Grazed lightly, kept the trees and shrubs down, encouraged grasses and forbs.
The property of which it was part was 6000-ac in 1930.
By the 1950s it was down to 1000-ac, straddling the saddle; re-subdivided 2004.
NCT purch'ed late 2007, and re-sold it late 2008 subject to a Conservation Agreement.
There are a few copies of the Geography, District History and Property History

The drier segments are Themeda-dominant, rich in forbs.
The moister waterlines are Poa-dominant, currently with a Yorkshire Fog problem, less rich in forbs.
The gateway and lower track suffered badly from contractor infestation.
Pig-damage recovery shows the resilience and the power of the seed-bank.

Here's a Species List.
Bold-faced type means that we need photos of that species, so please call us over!

This is a page within the Bunhybee Grasslands Web-Site, home-page here, and site-map here

Contact: Linda or Roger

Created: 15 December 2011; Last Amended: 23 October 2012