Five hectares of Aleppo pines is being cleared as part of a decade-long project to restore the native vegetation on Hindmarsh Island.
Property owners Trish and John Oreb, who live on Randell Road, cleared a large amount of the pines 10 years ago and now that area has been revegetated, they are doing the same with a second section.
“We thought we would reinstate the property to the state it was in before the early settlers cleared it or the trees were cut down for the paddle steamers,” Mrs Oreb said.
Mrs Oreb said it was a continuation of her father’s work when he owned the property.
“We wanted to create a corridor for birdlife and wildlife; we've already noticed an increase,” she said.
Among the increasing numbers in wildlife include echidnas, kangaroos and a range of honey eaters.
They have enlisted the help of the Hindmarsh Island Landcare Group to plant trees found on the island itself, including native pines, wattle, local gums, and sheoaks.
There has been 1500 plants put in this year, group revegetation project coordinator Richard Owen said. “One of the most important things we can recreate is corridors between properties,” he said.
He said Hindmarsh Island was made of mainly sand and limestone so the pines would’ve been planted to stop the erosion, but they had taken over – now it was a matter of bringing back what had been there originally.
“The pines are a monoculture; now there’s biodiversity and more food and flowers for more birds,” he said.
The revegetation work could only be done in stages once the pines had been cleared, which is what Mechanical Vegetation Solutions (MVS) has been doing.
MVS general manager Iain Duffy said they cleared the first lot of trees in 2009, and have again been doing the work at the Oreb property.
“We use the excavator and grabs to minimise the impact on the ground. We leave the root mass in the ground for stability … pines don’t regenerate if they are cut below their lowest limb. It’s great when people engage us in this service because it’s what we pride ourselves in.”