Bringing a home among the gumtrees

April 2, 2020 BY

After the fires Kerri and John Hollis wanted to help the country’s decimated wildlife and after months of hard work, they’re ready to deliver 40 wildlife boxes to Mallacoota.

AS FIRES ravaged across the country this summer, Mallacoota’s sky turned blood red, symbolic of the homes, lives and native wildlife lost to the catastrophic blazes.
Kerri and John Hollis from Clifton Springs said the impact on a town close to their heart was devastating, and after donating money immediately to the Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter (MWS), decided they wanted to do more.
“We’ve visited Mallacoota over the Christmas period before to camp. We donated money initially to the shelter, but then my husband John has made wildlife boxes for our property before and decided he wanted to take on that project,” Ms Hollis said.
“We contacted Sue at the MWS and asked her specifically what they needed for the area, she said they needed possum boxes for sugar gliders.
“They (sugar gliders) need specific size holes and boxes. We did some research and found out what we needed, then contacted Plyco a company in Melbourne, and they cut everything to size for us.”
Ms Hollis said it’s been a two-month project entailing hours of assembling, staining and attaching fittings to 40 boxes, while both working at their jewellery business fulltime.
“We both work fulltime so we’ve been coming home at night and doing two to three hours every night and have spent four solid weekends dedicated to finishing the boxes.
“I put a call out on the noticeboards for trampoline springs; it’s a cheap and effective way to attach the boxes to the trees (the spring gives as the tree grows causing no damage to the tree).”
Ms Hollis said they received hundreds of springs from the community within a couple of days and were preparing to deliver the boxes at Easter before the corona crisis arose.
“We’re just waiting now until we’re able to drop them off. We’d booked our camping site in Mallacoota but obviously that’s been cancelled. Sue will use some of the boxes onsite and will distribute the rest to other groups in need.
“John and I are encouraging people in the community looking for a project, to consider making wildlife boxes. What we’ve made is a tiny amount, they need lots of boxes, all different sizes for different animals.
“It’s a really important project to help the bush and its wildlife regenerate. Without mature trees the possums have no hollows to live and breed in, the boxes serve as a home.”
If you would like to learn more about how to make a wildlife box or would like to get in touch with John and Kerri, email [email protected]

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