The recent summer rains have left parts of the farm in disrepair. We have issues with fencing being destroyed, new erosion gullies forming and the possibility of losing our large dam in the gully up the back (now christened Carabineers Creek).
As we don’t have stock in that part of the property the loss of the dam won’t really affect us, but it will affect the wildlife that live in it and on its banks. Every year families of water birds use the dam and backed up gully for breeding, this year we had our first waders, as well as the Grebes, Coots, shags and ibis. What we would really love to do is to turn the dam and the area between the dam and the river back into a wetland habitat. Something that was common on the Monaro 200 years ago but sadly missing today – so if anybody knows of any grants going that we would be able to apply for let me know.
So, with all this hydrological damage about I spent a few days out at Milkwood near Mudgee doing a Watershed Rehabilitation Workshop. This was run by a guy called Craig Sponholtz from the US and was based on solutions outlined in the book “Let the Water do the Work” by Bill Zeedyk and Van Clothier. You can find a review of the book here -
The course was three days of mostly theory and a day of practical. Most importantly to my mind was the course covered in detail the effects that putting any structure into a stream will have, and the importance of putting the right structure in the right place. We covered stream and gully profiles, types and anatomy as well as formation and development.
The last day involved repairing an eroded gully using the techniques we had learnt. Which is another way of saying ‘hauling rocks’.
Overall I would recommend anybody who has a stream, gully, creek or run on their property to do this course. It's a pity the NSF doesn't have a course like this.