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Landcare Australia visit

Twenty-seven Landcare Australia staff from across Australia visited the Shoalhaven on 15 and 16 March to explore five community and South East Local Land Services projects near Nowra and Kangaroo Valley.

Peter Jirgens - Riverwatch Volunteer, inspired Landcare Australia staff with historical stories of work completed by Charlie Weir who has planted over 90,000 mangroves since the 1980’s along the Shoalhaven River. While standing on the fishing platform at Broughton Creek and inspecting the nursery at the Nowra Golf Club, Mr Jirgens described the new streamlined and innovated process for building sand sausages to protect mangroves planted by his team of 20 volunteers who meet on a regular basis to work on the river.

On Tuesday afternoon, Landcare Australia staff travelled to Kangaroo Valley to visit two recently completed projects which are aimed at controlling erosion in the Kangaroo River and Barrengarry Creek Catchments.  The projects were completed as part of the Rural Landscape Program, which is a joint initiative between South East Local Land Services and WaterNSW to improve Sydney drinking water quality. The projects were designed and constructed by South East Local Land Services staff with financial contributions from the Kangaroo Valley landholders. Project Managers Adam Hook and Jacqueline Holland discussed the erosion issues to be addressed, the logistics of installing three large concrete flumes and rock structures and the benefits the structures will provide for improved water quality and sediment control.

On Wednesday, 16 March, Landcare Australia staff visited Bundanon Trust to view the flagship Living Landscapes project. Bundanon's Natural Resource Manager, Henry Goodall, hosted the visit and discussed the genesis of the project and how it has assisted Bundanon to better understand its land management obligations.

Starting at Eerie Park the visitors toured the rehabilitation site that until four years ago was degraded grazing land. The old cattle yards have been turned into a makeshift nursery and over 100 acres have been planted using a variety of locally grown species. The total number of plants established across the various Bundanon projects now exceeds 40,000. Mr Goodall discussed the extensive weed management program that has been undertaken as part of the project including the engagement of several successive Green Army teams to assist with maintenance of the project sites. The site visit was completed with further discussion over lunch in the Internationally renowned Glenn Murcutt architecturally designed Arthur Boyd education centre.

Andrew Britton
Land Services Officer