Tarwin River Forest

We protect this ecologically significant covenanted forest to support its vital role in reducing the impacts of climate change while preserving biodiversity.

Biodiversity          Carbon              Water       

Local native forests are the best place to store carbon, maintain biodiversity and provide clean water for all.
Our work

Tarwin River Forest is conservation forest stewardship for carbon, biodiversity and water. 

We work to protect this forest ecosystem and manage threats so it can store and sequester carbon, protect our threatened species as well as provide clean water for all.

We work with the community to promote conservation of our remaining forests and threatened species.

Our beliefs

We believe in doing all that we can to help conserve this unique and endangered forest and all of the native species that call this forest home.

We do it for the powerful owl, the platypus and the long-nosed bandicoot.

We do it for the generations of people to come after us and to honour those that came before.

We use organic farming principles in all of our work for a healthy sustainable ecosystem.

Protect this forest

Help reduce climate change and its impacts by supporting this forest to store carbon.

Help protect our gang-gangs and bandicoots, our slender tree ferns and burrowing crayfish.

Connect with this forest.

Help us to connect and link the remaining forests of South Gippsland.

Visit us and have a chat about partnering with us. 

Ecosystem Services

  • Carbon -  This forest securely stores 12000 tons of carbon and sequesters an additional 1200 tons of carbon every year. Natural forests play an important part in mitigating climate change.
  • Biodiversity - This forest contains endangered ecosystems, and is home to thousands of species of flora, fauna and fungi including rare and threatened species.
  • Water - This forest provides the Tarwin River with 435 million litres of pristine water every year. This is important to our river species health and supplies local farms, businesses and towns.
  • More - This forest and forests like these also provide many more ecosystem services including cultural, spiritual, health and wellbeing, recreational, educational and scientific services. 
We value this forest

This forest is one of the largest conservation covenanted properties in South Gippsland. Fortunately this forest was not totally cleared like most of South Gippsland's forests and with our help it is slowly regenerating.

Mountain ash, messmate and blackwood make up the tall forest canopy. The river, creeks and gullys are filled with ferns, including the critically endangered Slender tree-fern. It is a home to many important animal species such as the Gang-gang, Long-nosed bandicoots, Strzelecki koala, platypus, suberb lyrebirds and the powerful owl.

This forest is unique and endangered and we are committed to protecting it and supporting it to grow into a mature forest. It has an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

This forest is also important in providing a refuge for many native species. Habitat preservation is vital to prevent further species decline and extinction.

Protecting forests mitigates climate change

From a climate change perspective, protecting the carbon stored in existing forests is more effective than planting new trees. Research has shown that native forests are far superior to plantations at storing carbon.

Unlike most carbon offset schemes, the forest here is protected by a conservation covenant in perpetuity.

This forest was selectively logged in the past and most of the mature trees removed. It will take hundreds of years to return to mature forest. With support, this forest will continue to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as our 100 year old trees grow into the 400 year old giants that once covered South Gippsland.

For details on our forest ecosystems, native species diversity, carbon sequestration and references for all facts presented on this website please follow the link below.

Our stewardship protects this forest

We protect this forest and manage threats so it can continue to store and sequester carbon as well as support biodiversity. This involves:

  • Tree propagation and revegetation.
  • Setting and checking camera traps to gather information on native and feral species populations and movements.
  • Recording and mapping native species observation data.
  • GPS mapping of forest cover, weed sites and pest threats.
  • Exclusion fencing.
  • Maintaining walking only access tracks to enable monitoring of remote areas and facilitate weed removal.
  • A lot of hand weeding.
  • Biological weed control trials.
  • Monitoring water quality in the river and creeks.
  • Feral animal control.
  • Working with Trust for Nature, neighbours, local environment groups, council and forestry to protect this forest and to coordinate work on managing landscape wide threats.
  • Supporting citizen science and educational programs.

Find us in the forest...



We are

Stuart Inchley
Forest steward

Stuart has a strong connection with South Gippsland, spending most of his childhood summers camping with his family at Wilson's Prom. He started out designing and installing off-grid renewable energy systems and has had a lifelong interest in renewable energy and sustainability. He has worked with students from Arnhemland to Richmond teaching science, maths and outdoor education. Stuart now works to protect and enhance this forest and to create links between people, species and forests.


Victoria Johnson
Forest steward

Victoria is passionate about social justice and the environment. She has always been a keen gardener and started out working and wwoofing on organic farms. Victoria’s social work career started in women’s refuges and progressed, via a PhD, to working in social policy and planning at the intersection of social and environmental justice. Along the way, Victoria pioneered growing organic cut flowers using a community supported agriculture model (CSA). She established Sunrise Organic Flowers in response to her growing awareness of the unsustainability of the cut flower industry.

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