The centrepiece of the ARF’s efforts in the Daintree is 200 acres of land at Cape Tribulation - The George Mansford Reserve - named after Brigadier George Mansford (retired), past and founding chairman of the Australian Rainforest Foundation.
The block abuts the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area with Thompson Creek flowing through its centre. The land has been identified by scientists as having the highest ecological values.
Technically the vegetation type is Type 1a/2a complex mesophyll/ mesophyll to notophyll vine forest with a canopy to approximately 18-25m in height and exhibits many rare and threatened species of flora and fauna, including the endangered cassowary.
A little over a quarter of the allotment had been previously cleared for farming there is however intact remnant riparian rainforest remains adjacent to Thompson Creek and in fragmented patches of re-growth in the cleared areas. A range of environmental weeds and introduced species occur in these cleared areas and on the forest’s margins.
The ARF purchased this reserve of 200 acres, the largest single block of privately owned rainforest land for conservation in the Daintree, in 2007 and at the same time undertook to raise $2.6 million (AUS) to cover the cost of purchasing and rehabilitating this critical rainforest block.
The ARF has recently completed construction of a specialist nursery close to the site to gather seeds and forest stems for use in the revegetation. The ARF estimates that 30,000 trees may be needed to complete the revegetation of the George Mansford Reserve site.