Native birds and bats in farm landscapes need a friendly habitat to survive, which includes large old paddock trees.

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority in northern Victoria says it’s important to protect these vital trees from risks like land-clearing and burning-off.

“Large old paddock trees, dead or alive, are vitally important for our local birds and bats,” Goulburn Broken CMA project officer Janice Mentiplay-Smith said.

“These iconic old trees are dotted throughout our region but are often destroyed or incrementally weakened by the effects of burning, which has led to their decline across our rural landscape.

“Paddock trees are essential to a healthy farming landscape and are valued by the community for their economic and landscape benefits.”

As well as providing aesthetic appeal, paddock trees provide livestock with shelter from heat, wind and cold.

Their canopies reduce wind and water loss to crops, they store carbon, produce organic matter, recycle nutrients and improve soil biology and structure through their roots and connection to soil organisms.

They mitigate erosion and salinity and provide essential perching sites, habitat and highways for native birds, bats and other animals to move through the landscape.

The Local Government Rating System Review Final Report was publicly released just before Christmas, 10 months after it was handed to the Victorian Government in March 2020.

“Paddock trees provide nesting and roosting sites for the birds and bats that eat insect and rodent pests and supply habitat for the pollinators that are essential for farm and landscape health,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

“It’s important to remember that every paddock tree is important, as once lost, these hundreds-of-years-old sentinels of the landscape cannot be quickly replaced.”

For more information on paddock trees on farms, visit: