Eric Hurn, one of the Upper Lachlan’s founding Landcarers won the NSW Individual Landcare Award at the NSW Landcare Catchment and Landcare Forum in Newcastle on Wednesday 5th September.
Eric was invited at the Forum to give a 10 minute speech on his Landcare achievements. I have uploaded this to YouTube and it is well worth taking the time to listen to this wonderful speech.
To make it to the State Landcare Awards Eric was successful in winning at the catchment level, not only once but twice as he nominated for the Hawkesbury Nepean catchment by Helen Ward and the Lachlan catchment by Mary Bonet both supported by Roslyn Landcare in particular Mark Selmes, testament to his enduring commitment to Landcare in our region.
Eric Hurn is an 86 year old retired prime lamb producer and potato grower from Crookwell. As highly successful farmer, Eric has improved the productive and environmental value of his properties in Goulburn and Crookwell which remain a great example of the benefits of early adoption of Landcare practices. He has been a long term committed Landcarer, and was undertaking Landcare works before the word even existed and has inspired many people in the region into Landcare.
He was involved in the Trees on Farms before Landcare and then was instrumental in setting up the first Landcare groups in our district over 20 years ago. He was also involved with setting up the Upper Lachlan Catchment Coordinating Committee in 1994 to address the natural resource management issues of the Upper Lachlan Region. (also known as the Upper Lachlan Landcare network) Meetings of this group provide a forum for Landcare groups, government agencies, local government, and community organisations to discuss and share ideas about natural resource management in the Upper Lachlan catchment. During his chairmanship of this committee over 20 Landcare Groups were established in the Upper Lachlan, most of which Eric assisted with setting up and attending first meetings.
He spent several years as a Councillor on the Crookwell shire Council and during this time with the help of other committed Landcarers such as Doreen Wheelwright Upper Lachlan Landcare was able to have a fulltime Landcare Coordinator employed in the shire and a Landcare office. (yes we need Eric back on the council !!!!)
He was the pioneer in land conservation in the region and has planted over 50,000 trees, improved pastures and protected wetlands. He is a member of the Roslyn Landcare Group and has been actively involved in managing many of the group’s environmental projects and is still the Vice chair and project manager for the group.
Roslyn Landcare has run many successful projects over the years and have continued to receive funding regulary because they deliver on their projects. This can be attributed to Eric.
Eric is frequently invited to speak at community meetings about Landcare activities. He provides valuable technical assistance on planting techniques, ground preparation, suitable species and other Landcare activities.
Whilst retired from our committee Eric is still a great help and is free to offer advice or useful information whenever needed. When new people move to the district they are often introduced to Eric who sets them on the right path towards Landcare. we are often receiving emails and calls from new landholders who have been told to contact us by Eric.
Eric and the Roslyn Landcarers love to share their knowledge and passion with the local school children and run an annual schools Landcare day which is loved by all.
Upper Lachlan Landcare and the committee are extremely pleased that Eric has won this award and look forward to supporting him for the National Awards in September next year.