Plans to turn historic Ludlow timber village into tourism precinct

Shannon VerhagenSouth Western Times
Email Shannon Verhagen
Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group secretary Tonina Pinneri hopes the group will be able to secure funding to turn the old settlement into a tourism precinct.
Camera IconLudlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group secretary Tonina Pinneri hopes the group will be able to secure funding to turn the old settlement into a tourism precinct. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

Walk trails, bike tracks and a museum are all part of one passionate volunteer group’s grand tourism plan for the historic Ludlow Forestry mill and settlement.

Hoping to add the heritage-listed settlement halfway between Busselton and Capel to the region’s list of attractions, the Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group is lobbying the State and Commonwealth Governments for funding to the tune of $3.5 million.

If successful, they plan to establish a museum, renovate the 12 cottages for accommodation, restore the old mill for show, run educational programs for students and promote an Aboriginal ranger program.

President Evelyn Taylor said the 37ha settlement — which includes stables, an old mill, fire tower, storerooms and cottages — built in 1908 was a “huge opportunity waiting”.

Once people go to the Busselton jetty, where can they go? They can go to Margaret River but if they don’t want to go that far they can come here.

Evelyn Taylor

“We’re hopefully setting up a timber museum so that we can educate people about the importance of this forest, the importance of the understorey and the flora and fauna of this area, the history of it in regards to the settlement of it and prior to that the Aboriginal history of the area. It also borders RAMSAR-listed wetlands.”

Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group president Evelyn Taylor hopes the group will be able to secure funding to turn the old settlement into a tourism precinct.
Camera IconLudlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group president Evelyn Taylor hopes the group will be able to secure funding to turn the old settlement into a tourism precinct. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

She said the settlement’s restoration would also open itself up to the possibility of hosting events such as markets within the grounds.

We already have permission (from the shires) to do it, we just need the funding.

Evelyn Taylor

And they would not be starting from scratch, with the 540-strong group already laying plenty of groundwork, over the years volunteering their time to landscape the area and planting thousands of tuart seedlings to regenerate the surrounding forest.

“Some of our committee members are so passionate that they take their annual leave and come and help us plant trees,” Mrs Taylor said.

“We’re making sure there’s trees going into the ground as they take a long time to grow — some of the trees here are 500 to 600 years old.”

Asbestos has also been removed from the buildings and the group recently restored a truck bay via a $20,000 grant from the City of Busselton.

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