Wild Futures

Our Landholders: Meet Paul Webb

If you looked for Paul Webb now, you would most likely find him spending his downtime bushwalking around the lush Northern Rivers of NSW with his wife. If you looked for Paul 30 years ago, you would be more likely to find him catching camels in the Simpson Desert. Or riding horses in Campdrafting.

In fact, initially his time was more spent in the ocean than in the bush, thriving on seeing dolphins and whales and owning a boat yard in Ballina for 15 years. As a keen surfer and adventurer, Paul was always on the go.  

Standing in front of his newly planted trees on his 100-acre property now, Paul laughs as he admits his hobbies are a bit more sedate these days. 

“I’m just not that wild guy anymore. It can’t last forever, but I’ve had a really really good time!” 

With parents as sheep farmers in the Tumut area, being on the land is in Paul’s blood. By the time he was 18 and had finished his carpentry apprenticeship he knew he had to move back to the country.  

Spending more than 50 years as a carpenter, Paul loves trees. In fact, his new goal is to plant trees across his entire property to bring it back to the wild and vegetated land it once was.  

“I know that’s a lot of trees and a big ask but it’s now become one of my lifelong projects and it would be a lovely legacy to leave that behind. There’s nothing better than watching a tree grow!” 

Paul built his own house when he was 23 years old near Bangalow and still drives past the property now – marvelling at the Flooded Gum trees he once planted on the property which have now grown to at least 100 feet. 

“It just makes you proud that you’ve done something like that.” 

With the support of project partner NRMA Insurance, 12 CVA staff and volunteers spent two days planting trees across Paul’s property with the goal of restoring habitat and homes for koalas impacted by bushfires – and of course helping Paul with his goal of revegetating his property. 

“The CVA team were the most enthusiastic people I’ve worked with for a long time. They’re passionate, really well organised – everyone had a really happy day when we planted, everything arrived on time and went like clockwork – I’m very impressed. I hope that we can do it again!” 

Paul’s family has owned the land for 20 years, and it wasn’t always destined to be a haven of trees. Before that, the hills were banana trees and the greater property was a dairy farm with the cream being sold locally. From there, Paul’s family bred Arab horses for 10-12 years before planting Macadamia trees which eventually were too far gone to revive. He decided to rent the property to a local cattle company who put cows in, which Paul says became unviable to be chasing cows all the time.  

“Then I got the great idea of re-foresting it. I thought “let’s do it!” because it’s been a passion of mine to plant trees. I’ve been in the woodwork and carpentry industry for over 50 years, and I really wanted to give something back and balance the scales. Mainly it’s for the planet, because we really need it.” 

In fact, Paul thinks it’s landholders’ responsibility to plant trees if they have the ability and space. 

“We need more trees, so we’ve got more habitat for animals which is so important. If you can do it, you should… we’re using the land to the best of its ability and going back to what it used to be which I think is so important.” 

Find out more about our koala restoration project funded by NRMA Insurance

Wild Futures

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