Local in Nature has been providing tours on a part-time basis since November 2014. Local in Nature operates in the Australian Capital Territory and nearby parts of New South Wales.
Local in Nature is owned and operated by Ralph Ogden, who is your main tour guide. Ralph has a background in biology, river-floodplain ecology and palaeoecology (the study of past ecosystems) and aspects of geomorphology (the study of landforms). He studied the changes to local landscapes with the settlement of Australia by Europeans, and enjoys pondering how people have lived in this part of Australia for over ten thousand years, and why the various plants and animals you will encounter live where they do. As a nature lover, avid traveller and immigrant to Australia himself (in 1985), Ralph appreciates visitor’s keen interest in this region’s environment and wildlife. Other specialist guides may be called upon depending on the demand for tours or if their expertise is requested by tour participants.
When he is not running tours Ralph is a consultant helping to bridge the water research and management domains, and linking people working in the Australian water sector with their peers in the Asia-Pacific. Previously, he worked for the Australian Water Partnership, on the management team of two cooperative research centres (CRCs) — the CRC for Freshwater Ecology and the eWater CRC — and as Senior Scientist at Australia’s National Water Commission.
Ralph also operates a small non-commercial vineyard, winery and olive orchard – ‘Googong Tuff’ – on his property and so takes an interest in the region’s wines, particularly Mount Majura Vineyard and Clonakilla, who kindly provided him with vine cuttings to establish the vineyard.