Showing off Glenshera Swamp at the SA Nature Festival

As part of the recent Nature Festival of South Australia, we joined with our restoration partners to showcase all the wonderful work that has gone into restoring Glenshera Swamp at Stipiturus Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

A big turnout of about 25 eager participants joined us for a ‘walk and talk’ to explore Glenshera, a fabulous example of the critically endangered ecological community of Swamps of the Fleurieu Peninsula. And it certainly is looking fabulous at the moment, with surrounding revegetated heath flourishing inside the protection of kangaroo-proof fencing (in place until the flora is old enough to withstand kangaroo browsing), water aplenty and life abundant.

A group photo from the exploration of Glenshera Swamp

NGT’s Tessa Roberts joined with representatives from National Parks, Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board and Friends of Stipiturus Conservation Park, who each discussed various aspects of the Park and its ecology. Other speakers on the day were Anthony Abley (National Parks and Wildlife SA ecologist), Luke Price (Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board ecologist) and Coral Marsden (Stipiturus CP park ranger). They covered a range of topics including a history of the park, the purpose of the kangaroo-proof fencing and all the fantastic heathland restoration that has taken place. Tessa explained NGT’s role in the restoration works, which for long-term readers will be familiar as you may have watched this part of the story unfold in previous articles. The following is a summary of our involvement at the site.

  • In 2006 we conducted a study exploring the history of artificial drainage at the site, and outlining key actions to reverse its detrimental impacts.
  • In 2017, initial trial works were undertaken to redirect flows back into the swamp and re-wet an area of peatland drained for pasture on a neighbouring property.
  • In 2020, some sections of the artificial diversion drain above Glenshera Swamp were permanently filled in (see here).
  • Earlier this year, we completed another stage of restoration, filling a network of old drains on the northern slopes (see update here).
  • And 2023 we aim to complete the last of our proposed actions from the 2016 study, including filling in an old dam and making permanent the trial sandbag structures installed back in 2017 (completing the infill of the diversion drain).

In short, our works involve restoring surface flows to and groundwater within the swamp, which had historically been diverted away via large straight bypass drain and an extensive network of drains across the peat bed of the swamp, in an attempt to drain the area for agriculture. If you’re interested in a more in depth telling of our restoration works at Stipiturus, check-out this article from July 2022.

It was fantastic to share the restoration story of this spectacular and very special swamp with everyone who attended, and fabulous to see so many people keen to learn more about this critically endangered ecosystem. Some of the attendees were landholders who have a Fleurieu Swamp on their properties, others were interested in helping to conserve them, and some had been involved for many years via SwampFest planting events.

A huge thanks to everyone who came along and to our project partners. Stay tuned next year as we hope to complete the final stages of hydrological restoration of this important site.

This work is being delivered by NGT in partnership with Friends of Stipiturus and Hesperilla Conservation Parks, funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Friends of Parks Partnership Grants Program.

Tessa Roberts