Passel Estate is situated in the heart of the world renowned Margaret River wine region. Its gentle sloping vineyards are surrounded by spectacular granite outcrop and pristine bushland comprising jarrah, red gum, peppermint and ancient grass trees. Sea breezes from the Indian Ocean nearby provide calming relief in the summer months. This special location not only produces some of the region’s finest wine grapes, but has also been chosen to provide sanctuary to the endangered Western Ringtail Possum.
Following the Margaret River bushfires of 2011, the owners of Passel Estate provided sanctuary to a family (or Passel) of Western Ringtail Possums that had been displaced by the fires. The possums quickly adapted to their new surrounds and the sanctuary provided by the giant peppermint trees, (Agonis flexuosa). The original possum boxes that assisted in their release can be spotted throughout the property.
The owners have since installed two soft-release enclosures alongside the creekline, to enable the successful rehabilitation of more Western Ringtail Possums at the estate, working alongside local conservation groups and guided by the code of practice for wildlife rehabilitation in Western Australia. The soft-release enclosures enable the young possums to adjust safely to life in the sanctuary before being fully released.
Here is a photo of Divo, the very first Western Ringtail Possum to be released at Passel Estate.
Flora and Fauna
Wendy and Barry Stimpson, Passel Estate Owners
Wendy & Barry Stimpson continue to support and provide sanctuary to rare and threatened native fauna, which (in addition to the Western Ringtail Possum) includes Quendas and White and Red Tail Black Cockatoos.
Additional conservation measures include the irrigation of peppermint woodlands in the heart of the vineyard (to encourage lush canopy and new foliage favoured by the Western Ringtail Possum), feral predator and weed control, as well as re-vegetation of the creek-lines and ‘bush corridors’ (to enhance links for smaller fauna to move between remnant bushland areas).
Visitors to Passel Estate can now book a Nature and Wine Walk, for a private tour of the bushland sanctuary and a guided wine tasting, 50% of the proceeds of which go directly towards further conservation efforts.