Tree Change…Leaving the City Behind

I’ve been dreaming about living in the bush since I was 12.  Plans for a tree change have been made, unmade and altered.  And remade after a few bad days in the city followed by a great day in the bush and too much coffee.  After 45 years I am finally leaving the city behind to settle where I am sure I have always belonged-  in the bush.

My chosen destination offers more than peace, quiet, and beauty.  It will allow me to take part in efforts to protect the environment, and create a better place for people to live.

It might be easiest to describe this big step with some pictures.  So, I chose this:

Image of Nimbin Rocks from Three Cedars Tree Change, Stony Chute NSW
Ngumbiyn or Nimbin Rocks in English









Instead of this:

tree change
We leave this behind in our tree change.

and this:

tree change Stony Chute Northern Rivers NSW
The Tree Change

over this:

tree change Stony Chute Northern Rivers NSW
Left behind in the Tree Change

My partner Kitty and I have spent years ‘putting up with’ city life to make a living and take part in conservation work    It’s no longer enough to ‘do conservation’ on the weekend or at meetings during the week.  We want a more hands-on life.  So we are moving— we will be surrounded by the land that will produce our food, fresh air and water and a community that is more interested in doing than accumulating.  We will certainly be busier than ever, but we will be healthier, happier and more effective.

Why write about it?  Well, as soon as we started telling people about our plans we were amazed by the excitement and enthusiasm from others for our venture.  It’s as if we are doing this on behalf of a whole bunch of people; some that we know, and others that we haven’t met.  So this blog is for them. Perhaps we can inspire some of you to find your own project and tell your story.  I hope this account of our tree change will be of practical use.  When we plant an orchard or create a wetland we’ll tell you how we did it: What worked and what didn’t.  This will be part science, part art and part almanac.  I hope it will be entertaining as well as useful. Please follow along.

4 thoughts on “Tree Change…Leaving the City Behind”

  1. Hooray for you both. I sure look forward to progress reports, and though I will miss seeing you as regularly as I have been doing, well until the farm became the focus of course, I do plan to visit you there.

    wishing you ongoing wonderfulness


    1. Thanks Richard! But hey, I haven’t gone yet, and you will be seeing plenty of me until I have moved permanently to the house. Its going to be great to have a place where we can just invite people to drop in and stay. Hospitality…. its underrated as a health measure.

    1. Hi Beverly! This is one of Australia’s most biodiverse areas, having once supported a very large expanse of subtropical rainforest. There are also various sorts of eucalypt forest, heathland and wetlands. The landscape has been significantly altered by agriculture and forestry. But the mosaic of remnant vegetation and new landscapes support a rich diversity of wildlife and plants. Our property is mostly cleared, but has two wetlands which support healthy communities of native plants and a variety of water birds. There are three species of turtles on the property- The Saw-shelled Turtle, The Murray River Turtle and the Broad-shelled Turtle. There is a creek on the south boundary that supports remnant rainforest. The creek also contains Platypus. There are also Echidnas, Red-necked Wallabies, Long-nosed Bandicoots, Brush-tailed Possums, Yellow-footed Antechinus, Flying foxes and others. Lots of reptiles. I have not yet started to do an inventory of the wildlife. Everything I have seen is without really looking. The birds are amazing. There are at least six species of native dove on the property; some in huge number, especially when the camphor laurel and privet are fruiting. So far, on the 42 acres I have detected 56 species of birds, and I expect that to increase when I start to really look. One of my favorites is the Emerald Dove. Its early days, so expect lots of discoveries. I will shortly start posting photos of wildlife from the property, so stay in touch!

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