Sandra Heuston is the owner of Soul of a Tree, a property located approximately 30km west of Byron Bay. The property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary also used for education, recreation and wildlife rehabilitation, and it is Sandra’s intent for it to remain as such. Restorations works on the property commenced in 1997, and it is Sandra’s intention that they will be ongoing. Soul of a Tree is under an in-perpetuity Registered Property Agreement, and Sandra also plans to enter a Voluntary Conservation Agreement with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
The property covers 6.9 hectares, consisting in part of the ‘Lowland Rainforest of Sub-tropical Australia’ Endangered Ecological community and forming part of the Big Scrub Rainforest of northern NSW. Scattered rainforest regrowth vegetation covers approximately two thirds of Soul of a Tree, and forms part of the corridor between Andrew Johnston Nature Reserve and Nightcap National Park, with the southwest and northeast slopes bounded by Anderson Creek.
Threatened wildlife species for which Soul of a Tree provides habitat include rose-crowned (Ptilinopus regina) and Wompoo (Ptilinopus magnificus) fruit doves, white-eared monarchs (Carterornis leucotis), black (Pteropus alecto) and grey-headed flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus). Other mammals include mountain brushtail possums (Trichosurus cunninghami), long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor).
Reptile species include lace monitors (Varanus varius), eastern water dragons (Intellagama lesueurii), land mullets (Egernia major) and eastern long-necked turtles (Chelodina longicollis), as well as many species of snakes. Amphibian species include green (Litoria caerulea), dainty (Litoria gracilenta), Peron’s (Litoria peronii) and whistling (Litoria verreauxii) tree frogs.