With rehabilitation of conservation zones, landscaped habitat planting throughout and responsible management of domestic pets, we hope that the whole Witchcliffe Ecovillage can become a place where endangered Western ringtail possums, Baudin’s white-tailed black cockatoos, and many other local fauna species can flourish.

The Site

Part of the appeal of the Witchcliffe site was that it was already cleared farmland, with small pockets of forest and an abundance of water, abutting the small town of Witchcliffe. Although degraded by clearing and historical agricultural practices, the 8.84ha of remnant bushland and revegetated creeklines have great habitat potential and have been set aside as conservation zones to be rehabilitated and preserved for future Ecovillage residents to care for and enjoy. Potential human impact on wildlife will be minimised through landscaped corridor plantings to provide links between bush areas and by strata bylaws that will control domestic animals and the use of chemicals within the Ecovillage.

The Ecovillage will become a place where local birdlife and marsupials will return and flourish, not just in the conservation zones, but also throughout the landscaped community open spaces and gardens.

Western Ringtail Possum

Pets & Wildlife

With rehabilitation of conservation zones, landscaped habitat planting throughout and responsible management of domestic pets, we hope that the whole Witchcliffe Ecovillage can become a place where endangered Western ringtail possums, Baudin’s white-tailed black cockatoos, and many other local fauna species can flourish.

Local marsupial and bird species are very vulnerable to predation by domestic cats and dogs and the development of housing next to bushland can be a disaster for wildlife. To ensure our wildlife habitat does not become a hunting ground for domestic pets, the Ecovillage strata by-laws will strictly prohibit the keeping of cats within the Ecovillage and mandate responsible dog ownership. All dogs are required to be kept indoors between 6pm to 6am every day, to protect our nocturnal marsupials and other residents from dogs barking at night time.

Organic Certification

All of the agricultural land, community gardens, community open space, conservation zones, and private gardens in the Witchcliffe Ecovillage will be managed organically. This will create a clean, green, pesticide- and herbicide-free environment for humans and wildlife, and ensure there is no downstream pollution of waterways.

As of August 2019, the Witchcliffe Ecovillage vineyard, agricultural lots and office demonstration vegetable gardens were certified organic by NASAA (Cert. No. 6390).

Unfortunately, there is no Australian certification category that can be used to manage all the different elements of an ecovillage, so it is not possible for the whole Ecovillage to be certified organic. Instead, each residential cluster’s strata bylaws will be the mechanisms by which the Ecovillage manages and enforces its organic principles and practices.

Ultimately, we will develop a Community Garden Handbook with guidelines for organic management and permaculture principles for residents in the strata clusters with community gardens and productive landscaping. However, the agricultural lots will be required in their strata bylaws to be certified organic or biodynamic with an accredited Australian certifying body.

The Witchcliffe Ecovillage vineyard, agricultural lots and office demonstration vegetable gardens are NASAA certified organic.