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Monkittee Creek willow removal works

South East Local Land Services has recently received enquiries from members of the community about remediation works currently being undertaken on private land which has included the removal of willows along a 380 metre stretch of the Monkittee Creek, outside of Braidwood.

Acting Manager Land Services (Tablelands), Aaron Smith said Local Land Services was approached by the land manager about erosion on the site which has resulted in the project works.

“Mature willows which had previously provided protection to the stream bed and bank were becoming increasingly dense and have contributed to the erosion issues on site,” Mr Smith said.

“Erosion was exacerbated by the willows dropping limbs, falling in-stream and choking the channel.  This has led to significant flow diversions within the creek, resulting in the creek widening and the bed lowering.

“Canopy closure had reduced sunlight penetration and vegetation growth around the willows, further compromising the stability of the stream bank.

“South East Local Land Services understands that some members of the community would be concerned about the loss of natural and aesthetic values.  It has been necessary to remove these willows because of erosion, their age and position instream.

“Their impacts in this area of Monkittee Creek have reduced the stream’s stability and its resilience to large flow events.  Erosion migrating upstream was threatening an adjacent floodplain and important farm infrastructure downstream, including flood gates.”

South East Local Land Services, with funding from WaterNSW, has constructed five stream bank and bed erosion control structures made of logs and rocks.  These structures will reinstate pool and stream riffle sequences and re-establish a chain of ponds system on site.

During autumn 2,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted and fencing will be installed to exclude stock.

“The fencing will assist the land manager to split paddocks into more manageable sizes to encourage the return of ground cover, which will further stabilise the area,” Mr Smith said.

“The fencing has the added benefit of supporting the land manager’s ongoing efforts to control Chilean needle grass.  This was an identified priority on the sites due to its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.”

“An additional 3,000 trees will be planted on an adjoining property downstream in a fenced-off riparian zone to further boost ground cover and establish ecosystems for native flora and fauna.

“These rehabilitation works will significantly improve water quality and flow by addressing the severe erosion and sedimentation that has been occurring in the creek.

“Willow control is not a specific focus for Local Land Services’ natural resource programs. However, where willows pose a risk to stream stability or water quality, willow control will be considered,” Mr Smith said.

ENDS

Media contact: Aaron Smith (02 4824 1909)