How many people know that Cowsnest Community Farm in Candelo also comes under the auspices of the Far South Coast’s popular native animal sanctuary, Potoroo Palace?
Several members of staff work at both locations and both places are host to volunteers, including Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF), student groups, and both offer opportunities for disadvantaged sectors of the community.
Cowsnest Community Farm and Wildlife Sanctuary is where all the animals, wild and domestic, have the happiest of lives!
Cowsnest comprises around 330 hectares, mostly under Voluntary Conservation Agreement, and the rest free of dogs, cats, foxes and human predators.
The small dairy herd of Jersey cows eats very little grass, so wombats and macropods congregate there because there is always plenty of food.
The South East National Park borders on two sides, providing thousands of acres of protected area.
The other two sides are bordered by conservation properties.
These properties are owned by Alistair Clarke, a conservationist who advises on ethical investment; Helen Weston who is restoring a degraded beef farm by planting the waterways, reforesting corridors and controlling lovegrass and fireweed, rampant when she bought the property; and Peter Chance who led conservationists through the forest and is filmed in ‘Understorey’, David Gallan's esteemed film about the saving of the forests.
Cowsnest is therefore fortunate in having thousands of protected acres, even on the two sides that are not national park.
The property has had a dog and cat ban since 1982.
Clyde Thomas, head of the Australian Conservation Hunters, formerly ADA, organises monitoring and control of feral cats and foxes several times a year on Cowsnest acreage.
All the inhabitants of Cowsnest care for the wildlife and any signs of mange outbreak are promptly treated.
Community members just love their wombats, and the wombats love them! Why shouldn't they, when they have plenty to eat and a safe place to live and breed.
- Written by Potoroo Palace staff