A new Australian made, $10,000 seed harvester for the Armidale Tree Group will go where no other man-made machine has been able to go before in the New England bush to better harvest native seed throughout the region.
Armidale Tree Group general manager Alicia Cooper said the new harvester would open up difficult places in the bush.
“It will mean we can access areas that were inaccessible prior to this, like travelling stock routes or where there’re trees in tricky spots,” Ms Cooper said.
Until now, the group has used a large trailer dragged behind a utility that could only be used in paddocks, not in bushland or densely vegetated area.
State Government funding will buy the ute mounted grass-grabbing harvester, which Local MP Adam Marshall said would allow the the group to collect more seed for propogation in revegetation projects across the region.
“The Armidale Tree Group is aiming to create a series of habitat patches and smaller stepping stones to link the east and western sides of the tablelands with their "Every Tree Counts" project,” Mr Marshall said.
“Every Tree Counts is a landscape-scale project addressing environmental issues across New England, raising funds and building partnerships to achieve that.
"This seed harvester feeds directly into those aims. It works like a giant bristle brush that rotates with the bristles picking up seed heads and throwing them into a seed bag.”
The new harvester will get to work this Autumn, the optimal time for gathering seeds.
The Armidale Tree Group started in 1983 and operated with three permanent full-time staff, a part-timer and a handful of casuals.