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Earth Collective champions

Clarence Climate Action – Climate Champions

Amanda Blakney and Jess Hidding’s work with Earth Collective has seen them recognised as Climate Champions by local community group Clarence Climate Action. Ms Blakney had been working professionally in the climate change space for nearly 15 years, but wanted a project that was more personal. Long-time friend Ms Hidding was looking for a way to contribute beyond her everyday lifestyle choices. “We knew we couldn’t save the world by ourselves, so we set up the Earth Collective to get people together and inspire each other,” Ms Blakney said.

Tree planting demonstration at Houston’s Farm.
Tree planting demonstration at Houston’s Farm.

The group began with a plant and produce swap to make it easier for families and friends to grow food, reduce waste and see what others were doing in their garden.

However, they were also interested in a revegetation project.

The two friends contacted Anthony Houston, who offered them the use of his farm at Cambridge.

“Anthony had input into what sort of plants he wanted — he put up the initial money,” Ms Blakney said.

“Then, in September last year, we got a community grant from Tinkle, a company in Richmond.“This year, we’ve been working with a Landcare Tasmania grant.”

The group has planted nearly 2000 grasses, sedges and lilies, as well as 800 trees and shrubs on Houston’s farm.

On planting days, they meet in the barn to have a coffee and cake while people arrive.

“Morning tea is a big part of it, as well as having fun,” Ms Blakney said.

“We’re also trying to set the example of not using plastic for the morning tea.”

Once everybody arrives, they move to the paddock for a demonstration.

“There has been so much momentum,” Ms Hidding said.

“At a recent Saturday, there were about 30 adults and 15 kids, more than we were expecting.”

She hoped that the tree plant would expand and become a long-term project.

“It would be really nice to have a big regenerated area where people can come and see how the plants are going,” she said.

“It’s just about trying to do something good and rehabilitate the land, and it has been so rewarding.

“It has shown that if you really want to do something inspiring, it’s doable.”

Eastern Shore Sun, September 2021, page 21