Ray Saunders and Debbie Birkett are the owners of Laeso, a property located approximately 20km south east of Inverloch. The property is a wildlife-friendly sanctuary with zones for mixed native and exotic shrubs, and a regeneration area and wetland. It is Ray and Debbie’s intent for it to continue to be used for the benefit of the local environment while cultivating an orchard and vegetable garden. Ray and Debbie are members of the Friends of Venus Bay Peninsula and actively involved in Landcare, holding the positions of President and Secretary within their local group.
Laeso covers 0.4 hectares and has a small dam and wetland area providing vital habitat and water sources for local wildlife. Vegetation includes coast banksias (Banksia integrifolia), swamp gums (Eucalyptus ovata), coast wattles (Acacia longifolia), coastal tea trees (Leptospermum laevigatum), coastal manna gums (E. viminalis ssp. pryoriana), white kunzeas (Kunzea ambigua), snowy daisy bushes (Olearia lirata), austral bracken ferns (Pteridium esculentum) and weeping grasses (Microlaena stipoides) while the wetland area is dominated by reeds and round-leafed plants and ground covers.
Wildlife known to inhabit the sanctuary includes bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), in-transit koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) and an abundance of birdlife. Insects abound at Laeso, with the owners identifying two black bull-ant (Myrmecia spp.) nests and four jumping jack (Myrmecia pilosula) nests.