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Nature Conservation Margaret River Region’s professional services team is growing, with new staff available to help landholders protect nature and biodiversity on their property.

The region’s peak environment and conservation group is best known for its youth education programs and environmental and community initiatives, but Nature Conservation last year added both an on-ground team and a biodiversity officer who can be engaged for contract work on private property.

Now, Declan McGill has joined the not-for-profit organisation and taken over as coordinator of the on-ground team, working alongside bush regenerators Nathan Hammer and Jackson Res with a focus on quality bushland management through revegetation and strategic weed control. He replaces Mike Griffiths, who will now focus solely on his role as Nature Conservation’s biodiversity officer, spearheading programs including the Arum Lily Blitz and Woody Weeds Campaign.

Declan has spent the past seven years working in diversified agro-ecological farming settings such as organic horticulture, pastured animal husbandry and agroforestry. He also ran a market garden called Roly Poly Farm with his partner Melissa. “I’m really excited to join Nature Conservation’s on-ground team and I’m looking forward to helping grow the impact of high-quality bushland management in the region,” he said.

Nature Conservation remains a registered not-for-profit group and any income generated by the professional services team is reinvested in the organisation and its community-based environmental programs, helping to grow the group’s impact and diversify its funding streams.

“We’re really excited to welcome Declan to the team, who comes with a wealth of experience and energy,” said Nature Conservation general manager Drew McKenzie. “Until recently, we specialised in education, support to landholders, advocacy and advice, and that remains very much our priority. But many landholders come to us wanting help with understanding their biodiversity values and how best to support the environment on their property, which is where the professional services team comes in.

“It gives us the ability to respond to this need and ensure that landholder’s efforts are focused in the most effective way. Importantly, we can then follow through and assist them with the implementation of on-ground work to protect and enhance nature on their property, whether it’s controlling invasive weeds, replanting with natives or erosion control. This is an important step to build our capacity in a way that isn’t vulnerable to short-lived funding cycles.”