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Braidwood’s inaugural Biodiversity and Farming Fair was held on the hottest day of November last year in the centre of town at Ryrie park. The schedule was very full as we tried to include everyone and everything we could think of that we thought would communicate all the potential of farming methods new and old, that incorporate an understanding of diversity and sustainable reasoning in the decision making on the farm.

Increasing awareness about the local flora and fauna was another part of this picture. A range of experts came along to share their insights. Some of them were also able to provide us with some notes of their talks. Below is a list of all the presenters and stall holders from the 2012 Fair. Those highlighted in BLUE are linked to papers and/or contact details.

Scroll down past the stallholder and Marquee map to see more info on speakers. CLICK ON THE SPEAKERS NAMES to find out more information about them...

Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C)

Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C) consists of eleven natural resource management partners committed to building the resilience, extent and connectedness of natural vegetation and halting the further decline and loss of species across the K2C region. It aims to build strong links to the community and to extend the partnership through its associate membership program. K2C is a regional partner of the Great Eastern Ranges (GER).



Michael Pennay:

Bats in the Braidwood Region – Habitats and Habits

 Michael Pennay is a local bat expert who has worked with bats in Australia and Papua New Guinea for more than 10 years. Michael was president of the Australasian Bat Society from 2008 -2012 and is author of Bat Calls of NSW the identification guide to the echolocation calls of bats in NSW. He currently works as an ecologist for the NSW EPA

Michael will be talking about the amazing ‘secret’ world of bats happening nightly all around us in the dark and at frequencies beyond our hearing range. Michael will introduce many of the local species and explain what they do, where they live and why they are useful to have around.

Steve Sass:

Logs and lizards: The Importance of Microhabitat for Small, Terrestrial Fauna

Steve will be guiding an early morning bird walk in Braidwood, presenting a talk on microhabitat, and running 2 workshops – one on wildlife awareness for kid’s and the other on community based species survey techniques where Steve will demonstrate the use of equipment like infra red motion sensor cameras, binocular and spotlight technique, sand traps, anabat detectors and also an introduction to  recognising the signs & scats & habitats of different creatures.

Steve is the Principal Ecologist at EnviroKey. He is a highly experienced Ecologist having undertaken hundreds of terrestrial and aquatic ecological surveys across eastern and central Australia since 1992.

Steve is also a respected Herpetologist and provides advice, research and assessment on frogs and reptiles across Australia. Previous and current research holds Steve in high regard within both the scientific and ecological consultants' community. To date, Steve has published, submitted or has in preparation, twenty-three manuscripts within peer-reviewed scientific journals, most of which are related to threatened species survey, monitoring or management.

Bronwyn Richards

Small Acre Diverse Productive Enterprises

'Wynlen House' is the name of Bronwyn and Helen’s small farm or micro farming enterprise in Monkittee St, Braidwood. Since moving to Braidwood they have established a small organic four season, slow food farm (cool climate) selling produce (vegetables and meat) all year to consumers and local restaurants. They also have a strong interest to redevelop, organic, sustainable and local food systems using agricultural systems that have environmental, economic and social outcomes.        
Wynlen House produce is grown using organic and permaculture principles plus lots of loving care, in a small market garden. They attempt to produce as much of the food we consume as possible. This of course includes vegetables and also animals. The focus is on growing food to be consumed locally. This is also termed slow food. If you want to eat it, then you should grow it or try to locate it from the local region. All aspects of food, its quality, its origins, its preparation, how it arrives at our plate needs to be thought about. Every step in this process has an impact on our environment. Producing food organically and locally minimises this impact. Bronwyn believes eating should be acknowledged as an agricultural act. This is simple honest food of the highest quality. It is food with soul and they believe you can taste the difference.

Bronwyn's talk at 10.45 will focus on an overview of small-scale vegetable production in the area - particularly on:
cool weather growing using low technology inputs - cool houses (hot houses without heating) low energy crop protection practices to deal with frost (and snow), extend seasons and enable four-season growing;
intensive organic growing techniques to increase production on small farms.
small scale poultry raising for meat focusing on turkeys, chicken and ducks and good feeding practices

Rob Gourlay

Soil Health – Human Health

Rob Gourlay is the Managing Director of Orbtek Pty Ltd and Environmental Research and Information Consortium Pty Ltd (ERIC, and a principal environmental scientist specialising in biological research, resource assessment and management.

Rob has professional experience since 1992 in biological research and consultancy in natural resource assessment and management, technology innovation and application in the areas of remotely sensed data, soil and water management, biological farming and trace mineral applications.  Rob lead the world leading development and application of techniques in the use of airborne radiometric data for mapping salinity, other soil properties and minerals.  He also pioneered a new mapping technique in the location of deep, fractured rock groundwater sources.

Rob has extensive experience in environmental research and technology innovation in relation to biological farming.  This includes the issues of food security and integrity (nutrition), water and alternative energy security through his products and services at

Gary Watkins-Sully

Farm Diversification - Local Food Options

Farm Diversification - Local Food Options

Gary Watkins-Sully, along with his sister Gina and parents Robert and Margaret run the Old Cheese Factory in Reidsdale. Gina purchased the building in 2007 and with the assistance of an Aus-Industry Grant the family renovated the factory into what it is today.

The Old Cheese Factory operates primarily as a cidery; however, it also provides emerging and existing small-scale rural producers with production facilities, important workshops, and local-cooperative and group marketing options. Local food options include cider pears and apples, elder flower, rhubarb, garlic, goats, and much more.

Gary will be talking about the different food items that are produced at the factory, in collaboration with local producers such as mustard, cider pears and apples, pickled walnuts, elder flower, rhubarb, garlic, and more.. He will also discuss the integration of culturally-distinct practices with food production.

Dave Hunter

The Importance and Benefits of Frog Conservation in the Rural Landscape.

David Hunter is a threatened species officer with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.  Dave has been working on the conservation of many different frog species over the past 18 years in south-eastern Australia.  Much of his work involves surveying frogs in the rural landscape and assisting farmers with the management of wetlands to protect and enhance frog biodiversity, and promote better water quality and a healthier environment in general.

Nicki Taws

Birds in the Braidwood Region and how to have them on Farms

.Nicki Taws is a Project Manager with Greening Australia Capital Region. She is the author of ‘Bringing back birds: a glovebox guide. Nicki will talk will draw on the results of a number of surveys on local farms in a range of different vegetation types including native revegetation, and how these results can inform management on the farm to improve habitat for native birds, including some rare and threatened species.

Panel Discussion

Managing the Farming Landscape & The Economic Values of Ecosystems

Panellists: Steve Cork, Martin Royds & Stephen Mueck


Stipa Native Grasses Association

Profitably Regenerating Native Pastures, Managing Weeds out of Pastures and Storing Carbon in Soils.

Stipa is an organisation that was formed in 1997 by concerned landholders. It focuses on the practical aspects of native grasses and their use in farming. Stipa Native Grasses Association is very much 'by the people, for the people', educating landholders and property managers about the value of native grasses and the management needed to maintain them. It is run by a volunteer committee of landholders and industry specialists who contribute their expertise to the organisation. It is administered by a Chief Executive Officer, administrative support and various project officers

Bruce Davison

African Lovegrass & Soil Fertility

There is an end in sight for African Lovegrass. Finally, science and nature agree, There is a way to remove this plant permanently, and it doesn't involve poison. After more than 10 years of research and dozens of experiments this farmer has discovered it's secret, and now it's leaving his farm. The answer is in the soil, it's called fertility. Come and hear what that means and what you can do to regain the upper hand on this unwanted plant.

Gary Howling/Rob Dunn/Lauren Van Dyke

Climate Corridors

 The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative & Kosciuszko to Coast


Demonstrations, displays, activities and tours

Free bus trips to a Back Creek TSR with renowned grassland ecologist Rainer Rehwinkel,

A live reptile display and presentations

A Native Grass Seeder, Tree Planter & Tree Seeder & Grass Harvester

A painting tent for kids with local 'Two Fires' artists,

Weaving Native Grasses with Diedre Martin,


A big red vintage bus of no use on a farm whatsoever.

We will also have two major database providers of plants and animals available to show you how to add your sightings to state and national databases – as well as get species lists for your area to help you identify what is around (or what could be around) as well as plenty of people who are interested in offering ideas and insights into how to get the most out of you biodiversity as well as productive enterprises. This of course includes many of you and your often extensive and on-ground experiences

The NSW Bionet - and the Atlas Of Living Australia


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