Last week I has the pleasure of catching up with our friends from the Hamilton Field Naturalists Club, a group of great people that NGT has developed a strong working relationship with over the past few years. Before my talk, it was a particular privilege to witness the group’s President John Cayley being presented with life membership by Dave Munro on behalf of the group. It was wonderful to hear about the high regard John is held in by everyone that knows him, and his lasting commitment to the group over many decades – a hearty congratulations John!
Right, now onto the talk… and it is on occasions like this I actually appreciate just how far we have come in the last 3 years. The number of sites that have benefited from NGT wetland restoration works in the Hamilton district (and SW more generally) has really grown. Going through a number of case studies for the talk provided a rare opportunity to pause for a moment to review what has been achieved since we started working in these wetlands with so many fantastic people and organisations across the region.
Once such site, that the Hamilton Field Naturalists have worked with us closely to monitor and restore, is Gooseneck Swamp. After putting in place a restoration trial structure in 2013 that has successfully operated over the past two winters, it was very exciting to wrap up the talk with a series of before and after images showing how the lunette bank breached 60 years ago by an artificial drain has recently been reinstated by NGT, with the support of Parks Victoria, the Living Victoria Fund and local landholders.
If you weren’t in the room for the talk, here are a few of the images of the Gooseneck Swamp works to show you what this type of permanent restoration looks like. We don’t get to do this (completely backfill drains) very often, so please enjoy the view!
(Note: CLICK on an image to enlarge and start a slideshow…)