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Forests – Natural Beauties

When was the last time you stood silently in a forest and emersed in the experience? Breathed in deep. Smelled the air. Listened to the sounds that emerged layer upon layer…

Did you know that 2011 was International Year of the Forest?

It was a time to inspire people to connect with nature, to explore the living world in ways they may not have explored it before.

Every year should be year of the forest. Every person deserves the wonder of engaging with natural woodland and bushland and forest environments that live beyond the reach of urban development.

Next time you’re exploring the options of “things to do” for a day or weekend, consider making a nearby forest the feature of your experience.

Australia is home to many different forest environments, magnificent habitat to countless species of trees, plants, birds, animals, insects. The Blue Mountains, for example, is a World Heritage listed National Park an hour west of Sydney. The area is home to richly diverse forests – from escarpment woodland to dense rainforest.

Some of these areas are unique to the Blue Mountains – they occur nowhere else in the world. These include, for example, the Sun Valley Cabbage Gum Forest and Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forests. Others are endangered, protected under the Threatened Species Conservation Act (1995) for fear of becoming extinct. These forests include the Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest, the Shale Sandstone Transition Forest, and the Blue Gum Riverflat Forest.

All too often, people assume that a forest is a forest is a forest.

Others, of course, “can’t see the forest for the trees”.

But if you look deeper at the forest environments throughout the world you’ll find magnificent and diverse habitats rich in local significance and natural heritage. You may even find these wonderlands relatively close your own backdoor.

Throughout the world, human settlement has resulted in the massive disturbance of forest environments.In the early years of settlement in Australia, for example, forests were cleared for farming and timber. With the growth of agriculture and residential development, yet more of our forests have been felled.

Today, little remains of these original environments.

Rich in biodiversity and home to rare animal and plant species, these towering forests are a precious part of our natural heritage. Experience a forest near you.

See the forest among the trees.

And know in your heart that this is not just home to species of plants and birds and animals.

This is your home too.

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