Linnaeus is managed on ecologically sustainable development principles. Unitholders work together to fund and implement the ongoing environmental management, from weed control to replanting and regenerating the native trees to dune care.
In 2003 the Broken Head Coastal Foundation Landcare Group was formed to carry out environmental repair and bush regeneration. It later became the Linnaeus Landcare Group once the property had been renamed after the Swedish botanist, zoologist and physician Carl Linnaeus.
From 2007 – 2016 the Linnaeus Landcare Group undertook major projects in collaboration with Byron Shire Council, Envite, Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council and numerous neighbours. Since 2016 the focus has been on new plantings as well as maintaining these areas.
Environmental enhancement activities include:
- NRCMA Voluntary agreement to conserve and enhance biodiversity (part of NRCMA Natural Heritage Trust Strategy Project).
- Coast care bush regeneration and dune restoration adjacent to crown land on Seven Mile Beach.
- NRCMA Landholder Management Agreement (weed control in regeneration areas).
- NRCMA Bush Recovery Round 3 – twenty year Property Vegetation Plan agreement for 30 hectares of land under regeneration.
- Voluntary bush regeneration works continually undertaken by Linnaeus Landcare Group.
SITE CONTEXT (VEGETATION)
Linnaeus contains extensive areas of native vegetation including brush box forest, rainforest communities, swamp sclerophyll forest, heath, dunal and wetland communities. Large areas of the site were cleared and modified from previous grazing and agricultural uses.
Broken Head Nature Reserve occurs approximately 800 metres north of the site and encompasses approximately 110 hectares of native vegetation including rainforest, dry sclerophyll forest, woodland, grassland and dunal vegetation. The southern boundary of the site abuts the eastern portion of Newrybar Swamp, an extensive area of heath and swamp forest which extends over approximately four kilometres south to Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head.
THREATENED FLORA AND COMMUNITIES
Historic assessment of the site has identified several threatened flora species including scented acronychia, green-leaved rose walnut, white lace flower, sweet false galium, stinking laurel, rusty plum, red lilly pilly and maundia.
Six threatened flora species have been recorded within the proposed development area, all of which will be retained in-situ:
- Coolamon [planted trees] (Syzygium moorei)
- Native guava (Rhodomyrtus psidioides)
- Scrub turpentine (Rhodamnia rubescens)
- Stinking laurel (Cryptocarya roetida)
- White lace flower (Archidendron hendersonii)
- Queensland xylosma (Xylosma terrae-reginea)
Two threatened ecological communities occur on the property (littoral rainforest, lowland rainforest), with swamp sclerophyll communities in the south of the site also having high conservation value. The proposal is sited within cleared and disturbed areas.
THREATENED FAUNA HABITAT
Historic assessment of the site has identified several threatened fauna species, including wallum sedge-frog, grey-headed flying-fox, common blossom bat, black-necked stork, eastern long-eared bat, white-eared monarch, white-bellied sea-eagle and little lorikeet. Extensive areas of forest and various vegetation types provide a diversity of foraging, refuge and breeding opportunities for threatened fauna which may utilise the coastal fringe in the locality between Lennox Head and Cape Byron.
AVOID AND MINIMISE
The design of the proposal has been developed over several months following preliminary field investigations which indicated that substantial numbers of threatened flora occurred at the site. Discussions were then held with the ecologist, project planner, architects and bushfire consultant to design the project to avoid intact sensitive habitats, minimise impacts on threatened flora habitat/threatened ecological communities and reduce impacts on native vegetation from bushfire asset protection zones. The proposal utilises areas of cleared grassland or significantly modified vegetation. Areas of better quality littoral rainforest and threatened flora habitat will be retained.
Large parts of the site have been zoned for Environmental Protection (E2) and Environmental Management (E3) zoning to ensure significant vegetation and habitats are protected. This zoning was gazetted (made lawful) on 28 February 2020.
Broken Head Coastal Foundation and Byron Shire Council both supported this zoning change which, along with the other environmental zones and controls applying to this land, protect some 65% of the site in perpetuity.