Preparing for Phase 3 of the Long Swamp Restoration Trial – Feb 2015 Update

Preparing for Phase 3 of the Long Swamp Restoration Trial – Feb 2015 Update

With the time fast approaching for us to do the site preparation works required to get the third phase of the restoration trial at Nobles Rocks underway, it was time for another site visit last week.

The good news is that despite a very dry 6 months since mid winter, the first two restoration trial structures were still working nicely, with the exception of some minor bank erosion on the southern side of the Phase 1 structure.

The Phase 1 (downstream) structure – still holding up 80cm of water on the 2nd Feb 2015

The Phase 2 (upstream) trial structure on the 2nd Feb 2015 – with a flow still trickling over its lowest point and holding a small amount of water in the deepest parts of Long Swamp inland from Nobles Rocks

I must admit I was pretty surprised to see this much water considering how dry it has been (except for one decent rainfall event in January). For example, this time last year the swamp and channel were completely dry even though we had a wetter spring, a great illustration of how the structures work to improve the depth and duration of inundation. But here’s the catch… right now, the good news is also the bad news!

Why is that?” you might ask…

Well, the location we have chosen for the Phase 3 trial structure is just upstream and around the corner from the Phase 1 structure, where we hope to tie into a high point in the dunes either side of the channel, and we need this location to be dry for site access to undertake preparation works soon if we are to get the next trial structure in place this autumn.

And so we made the decision that it was time to make a narrow breach in the temporary weir structure, to enable us to begin drying the channel down – hopefully in time for our planned autumn works.

The minor breach in the Phase 1 trial structure, required to ready the site for upstream works this autumn.

It didn’t take long for the level to drop by 40cm in the channel once the structure had been breached, but luckily we still have the Phase 2 structure retaining water in the swamp further upstream – in fact, one of the reasons we installed this second structure was to give us this type of management flexibility.

Site conditions will be monitored over the next few weeks, and once we can confirm access to undertake preparation works, the date for the Phase 3 Trial Structure working bee will be set – at this stage, hopefully for some time in March. For once, I find myself hoping we don’t get too much rain over the next few weeks!

If you are keen to be involved in the working bee, more details will be provided over the weeks ahead…

Mark Bachmann