Skyline Tier

Restoring plantation areas in north eastern Tasmania

Australian Government funding through the Biodiversity Fund will restore 350 hectares of former pine plantation on the hills overlooking Scamander, a popular holiday destination on Tasmania’s east coast.

The Skyline Tier Restoration Project is working to restore 350ha of Radiata pine plantation land back to native forest. A process of removal of pine wildlings, weeding and planting will allow biodiverse native trees and scrub species to rehabilitate the plantation area, and provide habitat for animals, plants and birds.

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Flourishing Eucalypt forest regeneration on former pine plantation area at Skyline Tier behind Beaumaris, after weeded by the restoration crews in March 2014.

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Flourishing Eucalypt forest regeneration on former pine plantation area at Skyline Tier behind Beaumaris, after weeded by the restoration crews in March 2014.

In the late 1960s to early 1970s about 2,000ha of native forest behind Scamander was converted to Radiata pine plantation. Clearfelling of the pines on steep slopes, clearly visible from the coast, triggered North East Bioregional Network (NEBN) to approach the land manager in 2003 to discuss ways to restore the plantation site to native forest. This was based on observations of natural regeneration occurring where pines had been harvested. Following the success of a 40ha trial, ongoing restoration work by the North East Bioregional Network volunteer team has restored over 350ha to date.


Now with Australian Government funding to restore an additional 350ha, the project is one of the most significant plantation restoration programs in Australia. Using Tasmania’s first dedicated professional ecological forest restoration crew, the project will develop best practice methodology for restoration of pine plantations.

The ecological benefits of the project are considerable and include reconnecting coastal and hinterland wildlife corridors, protection and recovery of threatened flora/fauna and vegetation communities and re-establishing the coastal catchments as native ecosystems. In addition, a highly visible coastal skyline will be protected from ongoing clearfelling. The Skyline Tier project is setting a precedent, demonstrating the biodiversity benefits of landscape scale ecological restoration while at the same time providing local employment and unifying the community.