Planning Your Rural Landscape

4 Day Course

Learn how rural landscapes work. Develop a whole farm plan that uses landscape ecology to achieve a healthy rural landscape as well as productive and efficient farm enterprises.

“A farm plan can give you a sense of hope because it sets goals that you can systematically achieve over time, so you feel you’re getting somewhere. We would have been left in a horrible situation, if we had been encouraged to turn and look at our farms and just recognise the damage which had been done to it, without being given an appreciation of how to tackle the problems”

Bruce Milne - Potter Farmland Plan farmer 1990

Merging landscape science, applied agroecology and whole farm planning, this innovative 4 day course will show you how to design and plan a healthy, resilient and productive rural landscape for your farm business in the 21st century. At the end of this course you will have the confidence to identify issues, make decisions and take action to start improving landscape health and enterprise productivity on your property. It all starts with good planning! You will develop a well thought out Rural Landscape Plan for your place. The course is hands on, group based and combines theory with lots of practical activities. You will learn:

  • how to "see" your landscape using landscape thinking
  • about Landscape Patches: the pieces of your farm's landscape jigsaw
  • the water and nutrient cycles in rural landscapes
  • how energy flows and biodiversity functions in rural landscapes
  • climate, landforms & soil types on your property
  • about the landscape and agricultural elements of rural planning
  • the different approaches to property planning
  • the 10 steps to effective property planning

You will also

  • use Rural Landscape Logic for effective planning
  • use maps for property planning
  • set goals for your farm’s rural landscape & enterprises
  • assess your farm’s rural landscape
  • identify & prioritise issues
  • brainstorm strategies for improvement
  • develop a Rural Landscape Plan
Farmers looking at soils in a paddockFarmers planning their farm on maps
The course is facilitated by agroecologist David Hardwick. He completed a degree in Ecological Agriculture at the University of Sydney with focus on agroecology, land management and rural change. He has worked in rural extension roles for over 15 years and taught whole farm planning at TAFE NSW and to farmer groups. The course is for anyone looking to develop a holistic Whole Farm Plan, refresh their existing plan, improve their farm's biodiversity and landscape health, implement ecologically based farm innovations or improve farm business productivity.

“I found the Planning Your Farm Landscape Course very rewarding. My understanding of soils, patches or management units within a farm landscape improved dramatically and my ecological literacy substantially. David Hardwick is one of the best presenters I’ve come across because of the way he explains complex scientific concepts in a way that people can understand. His explanation of how soils, plants and microbiology work and interact is humorous and particularly memorable which is useful when trying to learn about such an intricate natural system. A thoroughly enjoyable and enriching course – well worth doing if you have the opportunity”.

Struan NSW

Farmers attending workshop

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