We seek to protect and conserve Fernhill Estate's natural environment for generations to come.
Fernhill Estate sits above 2 major geological faults at the foot of the Blue Mountains. This has created an incredible diversity of landforms, soils, waterways and vegetation.
It is where the clay shale soils of the Cumberland Plain meet the sandstone of the Blue Mountains. This underlying geology has created a variety of natural features, including sandstone ridges, incised gullies and open plains, as well as a variety of plant and animal life.
Many of Australia’s iconic native animals are found within Fernhill Estate, including koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, goannas, echidnas and rare woodland birds.
Fernhill Estate has 2 biodiversity stewardship agreements that cover nearly two-thirds of the estate area. Known as ‘biobanking’, these agreements ensure in-perpetuity conservation protection of these areas. We manage and care for both biobanked areas as well as areas with important habitats that fall outside these agreements, such as the riparian corridor along Mulgoa Creek.
Our biodiversity management is focused on 2 key areas – invasive species control and bushland and habitat restoration. So far, our work has targeted removing invasive species such as lantana (Lantana camara) and privet (Ligustrum) to help regenerate the native plants. This will be an ongoing program of regular removal.
Fernhill Estate is the last woodland setting for critically endangered birds like the regent honeyeater and swift parrot before they migrate across the vast expanse of the Blue Mountains escarpment. We are working with birdlife experts to improve the woodland bird habitat to better protect these 2 bird species. We are planting trees and shrubs and will carefully manage density and species selection to ensure the open woodland habitats are maintained and enhanced.
Feral animal control
We are working with Local Land Services on fox and deer control programs across the estate. These are part of regional initiatives timed to have the best outcomes for Mulgoa Valley. Pigs have also been an issue, and we have managed to trap and remove animals when sighted. We keep a diligent watch for any evidence of these animals.
The Przewalski’s horses at Fernhill Estate are an extremely rare species of Mongolian wild horse, once thought to be extinct in the wild. These horses were kept by the previous landowner as part of a private animal collection and were abandoned onsite.
Since becoming custodians of Fernhill Estate in 2020, we have worked to contain the impact of these wild animals while seeking a suitable alternative long-term home for them. We are working with a range of partners to rehome the Przewalski’s horses in 2023–24.
Significant rainfall across Sydney in early 2022 highlighted areas across the estate that required erosion management. This includes around the southern dam at Littlefields Creek and several wash outs around the estate.
We have stabilised the southern dam wall and are working with Soil Conservation Services to investigate and rectify other areas of erosion as part of our ongoing maintenance of the estate.