Ten local farmers have been busy installing stock-proof fencing and planting along the riverbanks on their property. Together, the farmers have put in a huge effort this year, installing 15km of fencing and planting close to 10,000 local native plants, with support from GeoCatch.
One farming family involved is Nick and Emily Healy, along with Emily’s parents, who have the Abba River running through the family sheep farm. This is the second year that the Healys have been involved in stream restoration. They are already planning for next year’s project and keen to engage their friends and family.
“It’s a team effort,” said Nick.
“Our kids’ school friends and their parents came to the farm over a few weekends to help out with the planting.
“The kids enjoy their time on the farm and their parents are happy that they are off screens and getting their hands dirty in a local project.”
GeoCatch Project Officer, Jenelle Schult, said that farmers are keen to be involved in projects that look after their waterways and help to stop nutrients entering their rivers.
“Fencing rivers to keep stock and nutrients out is one way that farmers can improve nutrient management on their property and in turn, help to protect the water quality of our waterways,” Jenelle said.
Farmers Russell and Beth Oates are also committed to keeping our rivers clean, having participated in soil testing and stream restoration. They have witnessed the benefits not just for the environment but for production as well.
“I have a long history of planting trees on my property in Wilyabrup and have seen the positive difference it makes,” said Russell.
“So, after purchasing a property on the Carbunup River I could see the potential for improving it with some revegetation work.
“Aside from planting trees to improve aesthetics, there are many benefits of windbreaks and shelter belts for pasture and for stock – there are benefits for the whole ecosystem.”
This project is part of Royalties for Region’s Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways programs. These State Government initiatives aim to support the long-term health of our south-west estuaries.
To join fellow farmers doing their part to protect our local waterways, please contact GeoCatch on 9781 0111.