Wetland restoration trials begin in 2016

Wetland restoration trials begin in 2016

Late Autumn is always a time of anticipation and feelings of contradiction in the world of wetland restoration.  Often we are scrambling to finish works before the rain arrives, wishing for a good rainy season but secretly hoping it can hold off just one more week.  You might recall that this time last year we were deeply entrenched in the “Great Wall” project at Long Swamp.

Well, in comparison to that, this year has been a little more relaxed!

Small but effective - this two row sandbag structure too 2 hours to construct but will put and extra 50 cm of water on the wetland behind it.

Small but effective – this two row sandbag structure took just two hours to construct but will raise the wetland water level back up another 0.5 m.

Southwest TAFE students after being roped into some sandbagging.

Southwest TAFE students after being roped into some sandbagging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However we have still been chipping away on some smaller projects.  Over the past 12 months we have been working with several local forestry companies, identifying opportunities for restoring water levels in drained wetlands and, during April, this culminated in two trial projects on property managed by SFM Forest Products.  Once again, sandbags are providing a flexible, low risk approach which is ideally suited for working alongside inundation sensitive landuses, such as plantation forestry.  The construction phase was assisted by Anthony Birrell and Howard Johnson who have been undertaking a professional practice placement as part of their Marine Biology course at Deakin University.

We also combined a baseline vegetation survey with a field workshop for Diploma of Conservation and Land Management students from Southwest TAFE and managed to tie in a sandbag chain-gang session.  As the saying goes, many hands make light work!  Over the coming months, and with strong indications for a decent winter/spring rainfall year, we should see some dramatic changes to the vegetation in these swamps, and hopefully some appreciation for our efforts by the local frogs and birdlife.

Wetland plant surveys with SW TAFE students (photo by Karen Wales)

Wetland plant surveys with SW TAFE students (photo by Karen Wales)

Lachlan Farrington
Lachlan Farrington


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