Many people who have been into Cradle Valley will have driven past Daisy Dell, on the Middlesex Plains, just to the north and east of the park entry. This is great news: an area earmarked for clear-felling is set to be protected from logging and development forever after a Tasmanian Land Conservancy fundraising campaign. It was originally published in the Sunday Tasmanian on the weekend of Dec 3 & 4, 2016. The journalist is Helen Kempton.
Alpine haven of Daisly Dell gets logging reprieve
A stretch of alpine land near Cradle Mountain once earmarked for clear-felling is set to be protected from logging and development forever.
The 322ha property at Daisy Dell has been described as a priority highland landscape and significant site of Aboriginal heritage.
Through a Tasmanian Land Conservancy fundraising campaign, it is hoped the land will be converted to a permanent reserve by the middle of next year.
The campaign was launched three weeks ago and already $60,000 of the $260,000 needed to buy and manage the land has been raised.
Every dollar donated is being matched by a collective of neighbouring landowners and the David and Jennie Sutherland Foundation.
The property will become the TLC’s 17th permanent reserve and boost its land bank to more than 13,000ha.
“Once we have bought the property, it cannot be logged or developed,” TLC philanthropy and engagement manager James Hattam said.
“We encourage people to visit and explore, but it will be protected into perpetuity.
“We will join forces with neighbouring landowners against threats such as bushfire, land clearing, feral animals, weeds and disease.”
Daisy Dell is not far from the Vale of Belvoir, which was the TLC’s first, and biggest, land acquisition.
The importance of the surrounding landscape has been recognised for generations.
In 1828, Danish adventurer Jorgen Jorgenson visited the area and wrote a letter to Governor George Arthur saying: “Far up on the western side of the river Ouse, beyond Lake Fergus and where the Van Diemen’s Land’s Company has obtained a reserve of 10,000 acres of land, is the grand place of rendezvous for the native.
“It is their most extensive hunting ground in the country — the numerous huts we observe in all directions, the excellence of the soil and superior feed and the warmth of the climate concur in rendering this peculiarly adapted for all the purposes of wandering and savage tribes.”
A fragile traditional Aboriginal mia mia, or hunting shelter, was found as Daisy Dell residents John Wilson and Peter Sims fought to save the land from being clear-felled and converted into a plantation in 2009.
Dated by the Mersey Leven Aboriginal Corporation at 200 to 400 years old, the structure was vandalised and destroyed not long after its existence became public knowledge.
But other artefacts like the cupules and rock art found in the area can now be saved.
“We are delighted with our new neighbours,” Dr Wilson said. “A lot of good will come out of this — as well as a lot of healing.”
Between the three neighbouring properties and the proposed reserve, about 1000ha of land at Daisy Dell will be protected.
“There is something so wonderful about this property that makes us at the TLC really excited,” chief executive Jane Hutchison said.
“The strong sense of connection and commitment to this land expressed by the neighbouring landholders gives us a hint of the importance of this place.”
Daisy Dell, named after the grassland paperdaisy, links the Wilderness World Heritage Area with the forests of the northern tiers.
It is one of the few places in Tasmania where it is possible to see all three of Tasmania’s marsupial carnivores, the Tasmanian devil, spotted-tailed quolls and eastern quolls, as well as wedge-tailed eagles and owls, Menna Jones, of the University of Tasmania’s school of biological sciences said.
“This area is an important corridor linking the large intact habitats of the Cradle Mountain National Park and World Heritage Area with the forests of the northern tiers and coast,” she said.
For extra info on the land, check here.
To donate to the appeal, please check here.