Replanting life after Bangor fires

NEW TREES: Ian and Gaye Maynard at their property in Bangor, after planting more than 60 seedlings to regenerate the area following the 2014 fires.

NEW TREES: Ian and Gaye Maynard at their property in Bangor, after planting more than 60 seedlings to regenerate the area following the 2014 fires.

Their property sits atop rolling countryside, overlooking the gorge landscape. 

The view is spectacular: endless and colourful, but it has changed significantly since the devastating fires ripped through the region in 2014. 

“Just after the fires it was like looking at a moonscape, it was just black,” Ian Maynard said. 

Evidence of how close the fire came to the Maynard’s holiday home is apparent by the dead, spidery trees near the property. 

Thanks to the effort of local CFS brigades, the house survived. 

After the fire, students at the Australian Science and Mathematics School (ASMS) in Adelaide began fundraising for new trees to be planted in the region. The students’ effort resulted in 500 Bluegum and 500 Grey Box seedlings being raised by a Trees For Life volunteer.

“Over about 18 months four/five different events were organised by the teachers and students to raise money to get the trees here,” Mr Maynard said. The volunteer from Trees for Life was Ian Brown, someone the Maynard’s had met coincidently through their dog walking community in Adelaide. “He’s been with Trees for Life for many years, since the late 80s. He went completely above and beyond his duty looking after the trees, he would go over every single leaf of those seedlings looking for bugs,” Mr Maynard said. 

From May 8 to Wednesday May 11, the pair set about planting the seedlings on their property. 

“The remainder seedlings have been given to our neighbours, and other leftovers have gone to Anne Brown – the Wirrabara Greening Australia representative – who will find good homes for them,” Mr Maynard said. 

Over the four days the Maynard’s had around 60 seedlings planted on their property. 

“Each of them are protected with a fence because the kangaroos will like them! Over the next few years we will keep up their water in the summer months but after that they should be okay.” Mr Maynard returned to protect his property during the fire. “It was scary. We have a fire pump. When the real fire came over I thought – what good is this? My job was to keep hosing the house. We were very lucky to have our place saved. We are eternally grateful.”