Kate Crawford is the manager of Keith, a property owned by Rocca P/L and situated in Navigators, approximately 10km southeast of Ballarat, Victoria. The property is a home and wildlife sanctuary, also used for small-scale regenerative agriculture, water catchment for the Ballarat region, carbon capture and as a wildlife corridor. Kate intends to restore and conserve the existing habitat for wildlife, and hopes to increase the property’s size in the future to expand her agricultural and conservation goals.
Keith spans 6.5 hectares of largely cleared land and features a permanent creek, valley and flood plain through volcanic soil. The property is mixed-use, with some areas used for grazing cattle and others excluded for wildlife habitat.
Much of the original vegetation is comprised of exotic species, with willows lining the creek edge and a box thorn hedge which the owner is gradually replacing with natives. Most of the property is comprised of subdivided paddocks, with some of these fenced off from the creek.
The property features one ancient gum tree estimated to be over 500 years old, and the owner is reinforcing remnant vegetation with native planted trees.
A wide range of wildlife is found on the property including barn owls (Tyto alba), laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae), magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen), mudlarks (Grallina cyanoleuca), willie wagtails (Rhipidura leucophrys), Torresian crows (Corvus orru), pied currawongs (Strepera graculina), hawks, superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus), native rats, skinks, small-eyed snakes (Cryptophis nigrescens), pobblebonk frogs (Limnodynastes dumerilii), eastern froglets (Crinia signifera), green tree frogs (Ranoidea caerulea), red-backed spiders (Latrodectus hasselti) and mouse spiders (Missulena spp.).
Feral cats (Felis catus), rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes) have also been spotted on the property.