Elephant in the Woodland Progress

April 2021

The Elephant in the Woodland project is continuing to help a residents with Home Energy Reviews.

While many people were spending so much time at home during the past 12 months, residents got to see – and feel – just where heat was escaping from their houses.

Recent participants included a first-home buyer who wanted to know what first steps to take to make it more comfortable for this winter.

After the COVID break, ZNET Uralla has also restarted curtain making workshops. It has been great to welcome new people to learn to make their own curtains. Some ZNET members who previously participated in the workshops have been invaluable volunteers assisting the newcomers. Anyone interested in future events can contact Trish at projects(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.com.

The Elephant in the Woodland project, in its third and final year, is raising awareness and encouraging sustainable practices among landholders, firewood collectors and firewood users to ensure firewood is a renewable resource for future generations.

The project wraps up at the end of May. Until then, Trish will continue to be at the library on Thursday afternoons to answer questions about power bills or home thermal efficiency.

ZNET will host one last sustainable wood collection workshop with the Backtrack Youth Works team on 30 April and anyone is welcome to join us. Contact Trish if you are interested.

The firewood pages on our website have many helpful pages on sustainable wood collection and making your home more thermally comfortable.

ZNET recently completed an interesting case study of a home in town that has converted from wood heating to Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning and why they did this. https://zneturalla.org.au/how-to-get-rid-of-a-wood-heater/ .

April 2019

We have completed the first year of activities with eight biodiversity assessments done looking at the role of dead wood for biodiversity. Over 23 people have been trained to undertake biodiversity assessments. Four landholders have incorporated their assessments into property plans for land management.

A supply chain for sustainable firewood has been set up for winter 2019 and the community now has a growing awareness and appreciation of the importance of using sustainable firewood, with benchmark values of awareness being established in 2018.

Nearly 30 homes have taken actions to improve the thermal performance of their homes. Z-NET has advised on sustainable design and building for three new home builds and eight renovations. Sixteen people have participated in thermal improvement workshops, installing completed projects for curtains and draft proofing, reducing the firewood energy requirement for heating. Two homes and one business has swapped from firewood to AC as their major heating source.

The project has reached out to both local and national communities with over 2600 people directly reached by project activities. Partnerships have been established with a range of research (e.g. CSIRO, UNE), government (e.g. Uralla and Armidale Regional Councils, NT LLS, Uralla and Bundarra Schools), community (e.g. SNELCC, Z-NET Hepburn, Community Power Agency) and business partners (e.g. UPC Renewables, Neil Howards Electrical) resulting in the project having input into the national science education platform run by Questacon, local school projects on sustainable energy and firewood use, and the design of community benefit initiatives for regional communities, where large scale renewable energy projects are going ahead.

We look forward to engaging with our community over the next 12 months to keep the momentum going! If you would more information please contact Trish at projects(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)zneturalla.org.au or call 0411 804 627.


This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.