Couple’s amazing property transformation

Couple’s amazing property transformation

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Mayor Ruth Butterfield with Giles Hardy, Diane Hardy and Maddy, Naviin and baby Rosie. Photograph – Richard Polden.

Habitat Links, the City of Armadale’s private land conservation program, has been running for 20 years now, and for Bedfordale’s Giles and Diana Hardy it has meant transforming their property into a viable habitat for local fauna and flora.
The program aims to support revegetation and habitat creation projects in properties zoned as Special Residential, Rural Living or General Rural, that are close to bushland, wetlands and watercourses.
The idea is to create habitat corridors through private properties that link into the local ecology, enabling local, native fauna and flora to flourish.
For Diana and Giles Hardy, the benefits of the project are palpable.
“We brush our teeth in the morning and see bandicoots running around and kangaroos popping their heads up,” Giles said.
“We have a bit of native jarrah behind our property, and we’ve been keen to link our stream zone back up with the native forests, so there’s habitat for movement of animals between the stream zone and the native bush.
“We’re trying to create corridors for animals, birds and insects to move from one environment to another, so we’re increasing those corridors and making it more habitable,” he said.
Now semi-retired, Giles, who previously worked as a Professor of Forest Pathology and has researched the effects of climate change on WA’s Jarrah and Tuart forests, said a local focus on native fauna and flora is crucial to maintaining WA’s biodiversity.
“We’re trying to get away from wasted water by putting in species that survive and thrive during the summer,” Giles said.
“Our stream used to run all year when we moved here and now it dries up over the summer months. It’s getting warmer and drier.
“One of the ways we can manage that is by getting away from green lawns and slowly returning our landscape to the state it was in before development.
“It’s about protecting biodiversity, we hear all the time that biodiversity is really under threat and this scheme helps to counter that,” he said.
To get involved in Habitat Links, visit armadale.wa.gov.au/habitat-links-program and complete the online Expression of Interest before March 31.