Over 30 years ago, John and Di Lord made the move from the city and purchased approx 760 ha. of mixed forestry and farm land on the Great Western Tiers in northern lutruwita / Tasmania.
Most of the land they purchased had been logged in the early days of the wood chipping industry – meaning clear felling with some seed trees left behind in most areas. These areas have since regrown and are mainly Messmate with some Manna Gum, with the regrowth now about 50 years old.
They also planted out their abandoned farm paddocks with Shining Gum and these paddocks are now teeming with biodiversity and have been thinned over their 30 year lives. The goal with their enterprise is to have a multi-aged Native forest again.
As well as realising their dream to raise their children close to nature and the bush, the land has also hosted many field days and conference tours and has been used for teaching purposes by the University of Tasmania. About 20 years ago, their farm was the site used for the first scientific study into the effect of selective forest management on biodiversity. The scientists found that the active management of the native forested areas as practiced by John and Di resulted in better biodiversity outcomes than in areas that were not managed.
John and Di remain strong advocates for supporting the sustainable development of farmers growing more trees on their land. In 2005 their peers awarded John and Di the Tasmanian Treefarmer of the Year Award and in 2006 they received the National Award.
There have been opportunities in the past to clear fell and sell up their timber to overseas markets for wood chip and pulp but they have resisted this to instead persist in growing their trees to be made into usable sawn timber logs. This is not common in a market that favours this first route and one of many reasons we support their efforts. They are constantly thinking about how to keep value in their local economy.
It is a great privilege for us to have connected with and to expand our timber offering with stock from John and Di’s property. Having worked with the Lord’s now for just over a year it is apparent that they produce great farm forested products. John brings a high level of grading detail and is open to trying new things and working with us.