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Pindari Plains case study

Property Snapshot

Pindari Plains is a 280 hectare property in the Central West, NSW. Home to a significant community of Grassy White Box Woodlands, which is an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) in NSW. It also contains a significant population of black and white cypress that extends over much of the arable land and is acting invasively. Purchased eight years ago, John and Sue Middenway are seeking to remove extensive cypress pine from the property to stimulate natural regrowth of the groundcover and return the land to a productive state while protecting and enhancing the biodiversity assets contained in the woodlands.

Location: Arthurville Central West NSW

Size: 280 hectares

Enterprise: Sheep

Because of the amount of timber it was very hard to improve the property. It was a bigger job than fencing off areas to keep out the kangaroos. Our goal is to work to restore this farm to a working state and look after the wildlife on the place because it’s important to us.

-John Middenway, Landholder Pindari Plains


Farm operations and plans for expansion have been limited by the presence of cypress pine on the property that is present in high densities and acting invasively, choking over 90 per cent of the arable land. Tracts of Grassy White Box Woodlands which provide habitat for species such as wedge-tailed eagles, parrots and finches are also being impacted by cypress pine.

The presence of cypress pine in high densities has resulted in a bare understory, increased erosion and lack of soil moisture. It has also meant limited feed for grazing operations.

Approval to remove cypress pine on the property was provided under the Low impact clearing of invasive native species Code within the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code. The Middenways have also received a certification for the continuation of land use activities within the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code. It recognises land use undertaken prior to 1990, and includes provisions for managing woody native regrowth, continuation of land management activities post 1990 and continuation of rotational activities.

Works undertaken

Removing cypress on the property will allow development and expansion of new paddocks and more open country. It will support the rotational grazing of up to 400 ewes and return the farm to aproductive and financially viable enterprise.

The landholders are removing  the cypress themselves as well as investigating options for engaging a logging contractorand. Both methods use measures to minimise soil disturbance.


Removing the cypress pine and active management will allow the rehabilitation and restoration of a diverse understory populated by native grasses, limiting erosion risk associated with dense cypress pine communities.

Grassy White Box Woodlands on the property will be encouraged to regenerate over time, ensuring this important community  is protected and continues to provide refuge and habitat for a range of native species.

The landholders are also investigating funding that may be available for conservation management under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust. They are working with Local Land Services in planning the infrastructure that may be needed to assist with grazing management in preparation for when the BCT process opens in their region.

Fact file

  • 280 ha property supporting a small sheep and wheat enterprise.
  • Contains a significant community of Grassy White Box Woodlands an Endangered Ecological Community in NSW.
    Extensive black and white cypress pine populations are acting invasively across the property and impacting farm health.
  • Removal of the cypress pine will restore section of the property to a functional and productive state and allows the landholders to expand their operations.
  • Active management of the Grassy White Box Woodlands will support biodiversity outcomes and provide habitat and refuge for local native birds.

Download a PDF version of Pindari Plains case study here PDF, 891.96 KB

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