Creating buffers, stripping nutrients and protecting creeks
Waterways on your property, both natural and artificial, link you to your neighbours, your immediate environment and eventually to Wilson Inlet.
They do more than just move water. They can be something positive such as a wildlife corridor, they can carry sediment and block summer watering holes or reduce drainage capacity and of course they are an efficient way to carry nutrients and other pollutants downstream.
What to do?
We encourage all landowners to protect their waterways - be it a straight drain or a natural, vegetated creek. In doing so you will reduce your impact downstream.
Fencing and installing water points and stock crossings should be a standard practice where stock are involved. Stock in waterways create erosion and mean more nutrients are transported, either via their faeces or by creating sediment (did you know that phosphorous bound to sediment is a problem when it is lost by erosion?)
The next step in enhancing your waterways is to do one of two things: to create a nutrient stripping buffer or to restore your waterway to a more natural state. What you chose to do will depend on your situation. Both will help to remove any excess nutrients (from fertilizers that your pasture hasn't taken up) but restoration can do much more.
A buffer may just be a few metres of grass or sedges, maybe some trees for habitat or to cut down later for timber. It may just be fencing a pasture swale in winter when there is water in it. These things are relatively cheap, easy and don't take much time.
If you are ready to go one better you should consider revegetatingyour waterway. This will have more benefits than just nutrient stripping. You can protect more of the banks from erosion, create habitat for a range of animals, provide shelter for your stock, create micro-climates to improve surrounding pasture and improve the look and value of your land.
Remember the type of fence, buffer width and type, need for stock crossings and for watering points will vary from creek to creek. Your local rivercare or catchment officer can help you with advice. The Wilson Inlet catchment Committee can also help with funding.
For a comprehensive list of methods you may employ visit the
South Coast Rivercare page.
The page you are now on will soon include a list of species you could plant and some plans of how to make a your buffer or reveg project. If you need that information now please call Steve on 9841-0120 or email him.
The Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee can also advise you on methods that may suit you and can help with funding - up to $2500/km for fencing, $450/ha for plants, $700 for a crossing and $300 for a watering point.