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Native vegetation
Singleton Landscape
Since the time of European settlement, the vegetation of the Hunter Region has been substantially altered by the extensive thinning and clearing of the land on the better soils.
Nearly 70 per cent of all native vegetation has been cleared or significantly modified by human activity since 1788 ( Peake 2003)

For the region's biodiversity and our agricultural landscapes to be conserved,  the remaining native vegetation must be protected. The great diversity of distinctive and often endemic species that comprise our extraordinary flora is still relatively poorly understood by most of the population

The continuing loss, fragmentation and degradation of native vegetation is the single greatest driver of dryland salinity, and the single biggest factor in loss of biodiversity.

Remaining areas of native vegetation are often small, isolated and threatened by grazing, urbanisation, mining, weeds, insects and plant diseases. In many areas it is clear that much of our native vegetation will soon disappear from rural landscapes unless management is significantly improved.

The benefits to biodiversity and to ecosystems from preserving remnant vegetation are huge. Remnant vegetation provides habitat for pest-controlling animals, such as insects, birds and mammals. Several species of birds, reptiles and amphibians control insect pests and possums may control mistletoes. Remnant vegetation provides an important source of food and shelter for native wildlife and can link to other areas of native vegetation, allowing for the movement of native animals within and between remnants

From an agricultural perspective the benefits are also significant in terms of the ecosystem services it provide from providing shelter to livestock, reducing the evaporative influences of strong winds to pastures, providing shelter to many bird species which feed on pasture species.

Without appropriate protection and management  the current generation of scattered old trees dotting the paddocks in our rural landscapes may well be gone in our lifetimes,with major aesthetic and ecological implications. We should be managing our landscapes so that they can regenerate. Fencing off isolated trees and allowing new ones to grow around them is a good start.

Singleton Council
PO Box 314 Singleton NSW 2330
Ph: 02 6578 7290