Landholders lead the way in erosion control

Landholders lead the way in erosion control

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Loss of topsoil, slumping banks and eroding gullies have been great concerns experienced by landholders across the South East Queensland region, exacerbated by extreme weather conditions over the past couple of years.

In the Upper reaches of Warrill Creek, landholders have been watching closely a series of demonstration sites, part of a program known as ‘Healthy Country’ aimed at managing different types of erosion.

SEQ Catchments Soil Expert Peter Pearce

Guided by a community led steering committee, the works have seen innovative management techniques implemented, including using cattle to help weed infestations, fencing off creek lines and repairing highly eroded contour banks previously established as an erosion control method.

Over 30 landholders recently attended a gathering in Aratula, to hear more about these demonstration works and how these methods could be applied to their own property. The day brought together experts on erosion, whilst also giving landholders an opportunity to share their own practices they have implemented with success.

SEQ Catchments Healthy Country Coordinator, Tim Cunningham, is confident that the project sites will be a learning experience for everyone involved.

“The key is to trial efficient and cost-effective approaches that other landholders can afford to replicate on their own property. There’s little point in having complex management options that are too difficult or costly for landholders to implement on their own,” Tim said.

“We’ve heard from many landholders that have seen large amounts of their land washed away, or their topsoil lost in heavy rain.”

“The environmental impacts are severe, as what this usually means is that large amounts of sediment are washed into the waterways, decreasing water quality, which can also have an impact further downstream, from water treatment plants to the health of Moreton Bay which is home to threatened turtle species, fisheries and a large tourism sector.”

“Of course, the other consequence is on the landholders back pocket, as they start to loose areas of productive land.”

One of the properties visited was that of the Hall family, who own an 80 hectare former grazing property. A network of gullies along a degrading contour bank was eating away much of the land and many of these have now been repaired, protected, or naturally recovered as a result of reduced runoff.

“These kinds of meetings are useful for landholders to hear about up and coming methods they may not have been exposed to before, such as the use of geofabrics, and see if it’s something that would be suitable for their property”

“But this is very much a two way learning experience. We have a lot to learn from the landholders themselves – many of them have been on their land for many generations. They have a deep respect and connection with the land and it is important to recognise and learn from that.”

The Healthy Country Program is funded by the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

For more information please contact Sibel Korhaliller: 0488 713 340

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