Since September 2011 a new collective of local people have immersed themselves in the management of Tallowood Ridge Estate at Mullumbimby. Since that time they have been actively pursuing policies to improve the future liveability of the estate and also protect and enhance the environmental qualities of the area.

One of their first achievements was to finalise a Biodiversity Conservation Management Plan, which was approved by Byron Council in December 2011. That plan will see over 100,000 native trees planted throughout the estate, which was degraded from 50 years of intensive cattle farming.

More recently the team has focused on ensuring that the estate happily coexists with koalas, which in November 2011 were found to occasionally use a small patch of forest on the edge of the estate as a transit lane.

Along with the old growth trees on the ridge, all trees used by koalas for food will be preserved in the area where they transit, and this area will be screened with a special koala-friendly fence.

“When we discovered this path, we immediately took the decision to modify our planning so the whole estate is more koala friendl,y” said Management Team Chair Christopher Dean.

“We have brought experts in and will prepare a Koala Plan of Management before the lodgement of any DAs for future stages. This plan will define strategies to protect and enhance koala habitat. We will also establish a covenant ensuring that households that keep a dog have a fenced area. It’s a wonderful opportunity to enjoy their presence and protect their lifestyle”.

As the community’s first homes go up, the first stage of the children’s park is being built. Community gardens, landscaped walkways and sports facilities will follow.

“The development of Tallowood Ridge is a series of gentle strokes that will form community,” Mr Dean said. “Our planning for biodiversity conservation and koala protection are a first step in this approach.”

Tallowood Ridge is the most affordable new land release in the Byron Shire and the last major land release in Mullumbimby. Land is priced from $195,000 to $294,000, with house and land packages from $384,000.

Tuckeroo Road, Mullumbimby tallowoodridge.com