Birdwood Downs

Derby, Australia

Birdwood Downs Station, spanning over 4,500 acres in the heart of the Kimberley, was developed in 1978 by the Institute of Ecotechnics as a pastoral enrichment demonstration project. The productivity of the savannah grasslands improved drastically over time to become able to sustain a small herd of cattle, horses for the Kimberley School of Horsemanship, and to support the production of hay and seeds.

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Project Overview

Since 1978, Birdwood Downs Station has pioneered new ecological methods of improving degraded lands using stock management, weed control, and planting improved grasses. Now, the beautiful paddocks with their groves of native trees, spectacular boab and eucalyptus, serve as a model for sustainable management of the tropical savannah and support our horses and cattle herd.

The knowledge and experience gained in the past 30 years is now passed on in our hands-on training programmes.

The Kimberley School of Horsemanship offers training for all ages in horse care, horse training, and riding. Facilities include a roundyard, rodeo arena and special paddocks for care and foaling. Horse rides are available for all levels of experience. The School also has a breeding program for Quarab horses.

Birdwood Downs was the regional representative for Wastewater Gardens, designing and building sustainable wastewater treatment systems.

The small-scale Tourism facilities include a bush style campground for tents, camper vans, and camper trailers, and a limited number of Savannah Bungalows in the beautiful gardens around the homestead. Dinner, breakfast, and packed lunches can be provided. For those interested in our approach to sustainable ecology we have ecotours and horseback trail rides through the paddocks.

Accommodations are suitable for conferences of up to 60 people. Meetings are held in  the  converted seed shed to a community theatre space, and under the shady mahogany patch.

Birdwood Downs Changing Hands 

With the recent developments of the tropical pastoral industry, the Institute of Ecotechnics and Birdwood Downs are pleased to announce the transfer of ownership to Jack and Vicki Burton from Kilto Station who will expand the original vision of a sustainably mananaged pastoral land into a larger commercial operation.


Birdwood Downs will be the home of several innovative projects under its new ownership, including studies investigating the impact of invasive woody weeds on groundwater recharge, an emphasis on ecoremedies to increase carbon sequestration in the soil, and agronomic trials of a new phostphate product being developed as a local fertilizer product for the Kimberly.

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