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.

  • Eaglehawk Waterhole – February 2018 Update February 14, 2018 Our last Eaglehawk update was back in October 2017, where we reported on a successful day with the SE Association of Field Naturalists campout (link). An exciting component of our restoration efforts is seeing things we haven’t seen before like wildflowers emerging on the wet flats, rare birds using burnt areas and new plant or animal ...
  • Talking with ABC Radio about NGT’s success in the final round of 20 Million Trees grants February 14, 2018 In December 2017, the Australian Government announced the final round of grant recipients under the 20 Million Trees Program. Of the 52 projects approved for funding nationally, NGT was extremely fortunate to receive funding for two projects, to continue revegetation work on our two restoration reserves: Eaglehawk Waterhole and Mt Burr Swamp. If you’d like to hear ...
  • Part 6: The Lake Momboeng Naming Story takes an unexpected turn! February 14, 2018 In the most recent update to this story (Part 5), we explored some recently uncovered 1970s correspondence in the archives between the Victorian Place Names Committee (PNC) and regionally-based local and state government bodies, that shed some light on how the lake became officially registered by the PNC (and indeed is still signposted on the road) as ...
  • Celebrating women in science… and at NGT! February 14, 2018 “In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations… 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science”. While some progress has been made in recent decades, women remain ...
  • Southern Bent-wing Bat Regional Action Plan and workshop February 14, 2018 Our region is home to a very special critically endangered animal, one which you may not be familiar with – the Southern Bent-wing Bat. This small insect-eating bat roosts in caves all around the South East and western Victoria. A rapid and sharp decline in the population of Southern Bent-wing Bats at Naracoorte has occurred since ...
  • Butterfly Walk at Penambol back in full swing! February 14, 2018 In 2000, Chris Wilson and I set up the Butterfly Walk in the Penambol Conservation Park with the last section of the walk finishing along the track between the park and Warreanga Native Forest Reserve. For 12 years I walked this tracked every week for ~25 weeks/year (the warmer months) counting and observing all the ...
  • NGT article on Fleurieu Swamps in the latest edition of Wetlands Australia magazine February 14, 2018 To celebrate World Wetlands Day 2018, on the 2nd of February the Australian Government released the latest edition of Wetlands Australia. This time around, the magazine features an article on the restoration work NGT has commenced in the Swamps of the Fleurieu Peninsula, in partnership with DEWNR, the Conservation Council of SA and the local community. You can ...
  • Photo of the week – Orchid Dupe Wasp on a Basalt Leek-orchid February 14, 2018 Like many of the plant species remaining on the Victorian Volcanic Plain, the endangered Basalt Leek-orchid (Prasophyllum viretrum) is threatened by clearance, fragmentation and degradation of habitat. Despite this, it’s hanging in at a handful of grassland sites near Warrnambool and can be seen flowering en masse late in the year, its dense cluster of flowers ...
  • NGT has just turned 6 – and we have a big year ahead…! January 19, 2018 Welcome back to the NGT Blogs and E-mail Newsletter for the New Year! It is hard to believe but a couple of days ago, the 16th of January, marked six years since we launched NGT – and hasn’t the time flown by? 2018 – our seventh year – is going to be fantastic for a whole range of reasons. I ...
  • The Great Goolwa Cockle Challenge a great success! January 19, 2018 More than 450 people braved the hot and windy conditions to become citizen scientists during The Great Goolwa Cockle Challenge on Saturday. The mission was to find as many of the 2500 uniquely tagged cockles that were released prior to the event. In a great result, 160 were found during the event and more than 30 have ...

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