Fencing Wetlands and Riparian Zones on Wedderburn
Case study type
Reef Rescue Delivery, Grazing Water Quality Grants and Partnerships, INKIND: The trustee for The Michael Lavel Family Trust
13 August 2012
31 March 2013
The Wedderburn project is based on 17km of riparian corridor along Rainworth Creek, Cairdbeign Creek and Sandy Creek, south of Springsure. The Rainworth Creek starts below Mount Cassilis and drops around 66m over its 18.5km length. Wedderburn has almost 30% (5km) of Rainworth Creek that flows through it. As the creek comes to the flood plain it forms a wetland that spreads and becomes slow flowing, irrigating pastures and providing abundance for wildlife.
The secondary creeks in this project include Cairdbeign and Sandy Creeks. Cairdbeign Creek drops around 175m over its 20.4km length. The property has 1.5km of creek that passes through it in the south-eastern corner. The Sandy Creek flows into the Cairdbeign Creek, merges on the property and increases the overall area and significance of the wetlands. The Sandy Creek is mostly wetland on Wedderburn. All of these creek systems are fast flowing and carry sediment from degraded areas that flow into the wetlands from neighbouring properties that practice conventional grazing and repeatedly burn areas. The three creeks all run into the Nogoa River catchment.
The project area covers 1000ha of mostly native pastures and wetland ecosystems. The project includes 12.8km of riparian and wetland fencing with 7.8km of poly pipe and 14 new watering points to supply water to stock. The new troughs and poly pipe will be extended on from the original watering system. It will enable the management of the project area and provide the opportunity of conserving 500ha of ephemeral wetland as well as improving the highly degraded waterways. It will also reduce the erosion and future degradation of higher ground on 245ha. OG2.2, OG2.3, OG3.2, OG3.3, 11.3, OG14.5
The biodiversity of the wetlands will be able to flourish through reduced sediment and nutrient run-off flowing into the Rainworth, Sandy and Cairdbeign creeks. Gully erosion and head cutting will be stopped and degradation repaired by the new management system. The project area is more than 1000ha and will be able to be managed once completed, creating improved ground cover, reduced bogging on wetland, grassed up overgrazed areas and the utilisation of under-grazed areas. This property’s whole ecosystem, from the high to the low wetlands, will be improved. A 17km riparian corridor and a 650ha of riparian and wetland ecosystem are being managed.
The project will have a number of benefits to the environment including reducing sediment and improving water quality, improving wetland health, reduced slumping of the river and creek banks, increased ground cover and land condition of the riparian areas and less erosion caused by stock impacting on the banks and riparian areas.
The stocks use the higher areas as refuge from wet ground on the southern end, western side, as well as a few smaller high areas of the property, and this has subsequently led to erosion. Resting these areas will recover stressed grass plants and create mulch on bare ground, resulting in the soil being able to store more water. The large areas of soil being washed into wetland over time would be reduced. The wetlands will have controlled stock access and this will greatly reduce the time an animal spends on the wetlands.
By fencing and adding new water to the area to the north of the block the previously under-utilised corridor areas away from the Rainworth Creek (north-eastern corner) will be utilised. Consequently, the cattle impact on the already eroded creek will also be reduced. These benefits will lead to a much more balanced environment.
The area to the north-west of the block is under-utilised and would provide a much better area for stock during wet time, minimising the damage to the flood plain wetland. The soil type is significantly different in this area from the soft black soil of the flood plain. The fencing out of this area would be preventative to stop the repeat of the high ground degradation on the southern end.
Landholders plan to manage a strategic grazing program and will also undertake training with Grazing BestPrac for property planning, grazing management and feed budgeting.
This project will have a number of benefits to the environment, including:
Last updated: 26 November 2014
This page should be cited as:
Fencing Wetlands and Riparian Zones on Wedderburn, WetlandInfo 2014, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland, viewed 30 October 2017, .