Wildlife Land Trust / Sanctuaries / NSW / The Badger Ground

Mike and Sue Pridmore are the owners of The Badger Ground, a property located in Breakfast Creek, approximately 50km east of Mudgee, New South Wales. The property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary, and after restoring it for 50 years the owners wish to protect the land in-perpetuity. Originally a gardening and grazing block, the property has undergone extensive regeneration to restore the forest and riparian habitat as well as local wildlife populations. Mike and Sue have consolidated their five blocks by establishing a Conservation Agreement on 95% of the property, with three small areas set aside for the homesteads.

The property covers approximately 130 hectares, 95% of which is comprised of native forest or bushland. A permanent spring runs through a narrow valley floor on the property, edged by sandstone escarpments. The entrance is situated 3km from the road, and the property is surrounded by bushland.

Vegetation is characterised by eucalypt woodland typical to the area, dominated by yellow box (Eucalyptus melliodora), myrtle (Angophora spp.), mountain grey gum (E. cypellocarpa), stringybark, woollybutt (E. longifolia) and black cypress (Callitris endlicheri), as well as some red box (E. polyanthemos) and grey gum (E. punctata). The valley floor is comprised of swamp and grassland, featuring shrubs including sweet bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), crimson bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus), fern-leaved wattle (Acacia filicifolia) and five corners (Styphelia sp.). The spring gully is populated by a variety of rainforest species including tree-ferns, many of which have been regenerated by the property owners.

Badger Ground was originally named for its population of bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), which remains prolific to this day. The property is also home to eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), red-necked (Macropus rufogriseus) and swamp (Wallabia bicolor) wallabies, short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps), brushtail (Trichosurus vulpecula) and ringtail (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) possums, lace monitors (Varanus varius), eastern brown snakes (Pseudonaja textilis), red-bellied black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus), turtles and frogs. Yellow-bellied gliders (Petaurus australis) have previously been sighted on the property, and a diamond python (Morelia spilota) is occasionally present in the garden. A small colony of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) has grown over the years, residing in the mountain grey gums near the homestead.

An abundance of birdlife is also present including superb lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae), gang-gang cockatoos (Callocephalon fimbriatum), powerful owls (Ninox strenua), common bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) and crested (Ocyphaps lophotes) pigeons, wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax), grey butcherbirds (Cracticus torquatus), white-winged choughs (Corcorax melanorhamphos), galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) and eastern spinebills (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris), as well as a range of small bird species including thornbills, superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus), rock warblers (Origma solitaria), white-browed scrubwrens (Sericornis frontalis) and eastern yellow robins (Eopsaltria australis).