Resting within the Great Barrier Reef Catchment area, Stonehaven is a multi-generational grazing enterprise run by fifth generation farmers, Dan and Emma-Jane Burnham. The Burnhams have chosen to step away from the clearing regimes of their forebears and committed to stop broadscale clearing by changing the way they manage their enterprise.
The Burnhams have embraced native trees on the property, understanding the benefits they bring to both their cattle business and the environment. Timed controlled grazing regenerates the land, mitigates loss of ground cover from overgrazing and avoids sediment entering the water systems from exposed soils, and they’ve noticed the paddocks with tree cover now have more grazing yield.
The income from their carbon project has increased the financial and climatic resilience of their business, and enabled reinvestment in their enterprise, which flows through to the local community.
The assurance of a regular carbon income enables the Burnhams to reduce stocking rates in dry times and reduces the business exposure to fluctuating commodity markets, allowing them to forward plan with confidence.
From an environmental perspective this project contributes to the health of the Great Barrier Reef by reducing sediment in waterways, protects native ecosystems and helps improve the condition and extent of threatened species such as koalas.
As Emma-Jane says; “it’s not a case of all trees, or a case of no trees. It’s about balancing them together to maximise the production and the ground cover. Being sustainable and profitable to us is the same – they go hand in hand.”
Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative – Avoided Clearing of Native Regrowth) Methodology Determination 2015