What is Big Scrub and why is it so important?
The majestic Big Scrub once held the distinction of being one of the largest rainforests in eastern Australia. Spanning a vast area, it was the largest continuous expanse of lowland subtropical rainforest in the country.
This ecosystem has direct roots tracing back from the great Gondwana rainforest that covered Australia approximately 40 million years ago. Prior to European settlement, the Big Scrub covered 75,000ha accounting for 38% of Australia's landmass.
However, the arrival of European settlers brought tragic consequences, such as the exploitation of red cedar timber and cattle grazing, with a staggering 99% of the Big Scrub expanse lost forever.
By 1900, all that remained was less than 1%, leaving fragmented remnants scattered across the landscape between the northern NSW towns of Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore.
These rainforest remnants are internationally significant, with species whose lineage goes back more than 180 million years. They support an incredibly rich biodiversity, home to many hundreds of species including over 38 threatened flora species and 61 threatened fauna species.
Here at Brookfarm we understand how regenerating a rainforest benefits all. The tiniest patch of Big Scrub left in the barren rundown dairy farm in the hinterland of Byron Bay, full of bare compacted dirt, weeds and camphor laurels, kicked off this whole journey.
30 years on, Brookfarm is story of rainforest regeneration, focusing on native trees and plants, and commercial farming practises working together as a biodiverse ecosystem.
The rainforest remnant has been revitalised, hand planted tree by tree - to a self sufficient, thriving, wildlife corridor running through the farm.
As you can tell, we are passionate about one of Australia's most valuable resources - our rainforests. Essential to plant diversity, native wildlife, clean air and water, and reducing the effects of climate change.
We are proud supporters of Big Scrub Rainforest Conservancy who have been committed to restoring and repairing critically endangered rainforests in Australia for 25 years, with 2,000,000 million trees planted to date!
Check out their impact here: https://www.bigscrubrainforest.org/