WETLAND RESTORATION ON PRIVATE LAND CASE STUDY 3: BEAUFORT DISTRICT

In this, the third of our early works case studies, we review another completed Nature Glenelg Trust wetland restoration project on a property near Beaufort in Central Victoria.

This project was developed to aid the restoration of a five hectare swamp that occurs on a natural watercourse flowing into Fiery Creek.  The site provides important water storage in the local drainage network whilst also supporting a high quality remnant red-gum forest that creates important habitat for local bird populations.

Earthworks undertaken by previous owners that included channel excavation and the construction of levee embankments have caused significant modification to the natural wetland area.  Since purchasing the property the new owners had noticed changes occurring to the natural inundation zone of the swamp which had historically backed up into the standing red-gums. Concerned that the wetland area was impacted by these past works, the landholders were keen to engage with us to help find a possible solution and develop a remedial response to this issue. After preliminary assessments were undertaken we were able to identify that the recently excavated channels constructed by the previous owners had created a new subsurface drainage pathway for the surface water. The channel excavations had been cut through a shallow depth impervious clay layer in the natural soil structure, subsequently providing an exit route for the surface water to drain through a deeper deposited gravel bed, artificially hastening the loss of water from the wetland system.

On ground works were designed to reduce the depth of the excavated drainage channel by relining the channel bed to effectively reinstate the original confining clay layer. Suitable clay material was sourced on site and a local earthworks contractor was engaged to fill and re-line the drainage channels. To ensure that the capping material was suitably impervious, bentonite clay fines were integrated into the material to increase the sealing effectiveness of the bed material.

This Case Study is the third in a series to illustrate wetland restoration in practice, delivered through Nature Glenelg Trust’s Wetland Restoration Program on Private Land and funded by the Australian Government.

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  • Orange-bellied Parrots are on their way back for the winter May 10, 2018 Orange-bellied Parrots have started their journey back to the mainland and the first wild-bred male parrot has already been sighted near the Werribee treatment plant. The OBP recovery team has again released captive birds at two different sites on mainland Victoria and we have to expect different behaviour with the new releases (click here to find updates on ...
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  • In case you missed it… NGT Foundation stories in print and on radio May 10, 2018 The launch of the NGT Foundation last month was picked up in the local media – which was a nice early boost to this important new initiative! First up, here is my ABC South East interview with Selina Green, explaining what the Foundation is all about: Finally, here is a really great short article that appeared in the Border ...
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  • Revisiting the RRR Conference – Part 2 – Breaking long-term deadlocks to restore wetlands on public and private land May 10, 2018 Next up in this series (note: you can see Part 1 here) of short 2-page papers I wrote-up after presenting at the Restore, Regenerate, Revegetate  (RRR) Conference in Armidale last year, is a story describing how NGT worked with a wide range of people to progress two proposed restoration projects that stalled for many years (for different reasons) and as ...
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