MORE than 25,000 trees planted at a Toora North property, to help stop erosion in its steep gullies, is having a flow on effect to improving seagrass and fish habitat in Ramsar listed Corner Inlet.
According to West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s (WGCMA) project delivery coordinator, Richard Allen, the project is one of the largest in the Corner Inlet catchment.
“There are three extremely steep gullies on the property which are difficult to farm,” Richard said.
“When we visited the property, you could see water streaming down the gullies, gathering dirt and delivering it straight into the Agnes River. This project is going to change that.”
The three gullies, covering 10 hectares, have been fenced and a mixture of indigenous trees has been planted.
These will have the combined effect of holding dirt and sediment in place while also creating new habitat for native wildlife.
“A 15 metre buffer along the bank of the river has also been fenced and planted out,” Richard said.
“This helps filter any sediment and nutrients out of the water before it reaches the river, improving water quality and stopping these sediments reaching Corner Inlet.
“Before planting out the river there were some massive willows that needed to be removed.
“This was done with heavy machinery due to the size of them. Willows contribute to erosion and choke up the river. The new mix of indigenous trees will create a wildlife-friendly habitat.
“We’re very lucky that the new property owners have seen this work as a priority and are partnering with us to help protect the river and ultimately Corner Inlet.”
The property was originally a dairy farm and new owners Trevor and Elissa are keen to rehabilitate the steep slopes and turn it back to a more natural site.
“We’re excited, both for the contribution to our natural environment and lifestyle,” Elissa said.
“We look forward to watching the trees grow, provide habitat for our native animals and shelter from the elements for our stock and ourselves.”
The 40-hectare property near the Toora windfarm is one of many helping to protect Corner Inlet as part of the Australian Government funded Corner Inlet Connections program. Weeds have been removed and native trees planted across almost 15-hectares of the farm.
Corner Inlet is one of the most unique natural wonderlands in Australia supporting outstanding environmental values.
It is home to the amazing marine and coastal parks of Corner Inlet and Nooramunga, as well as the unique intertidal mudflats and barrier islands west of 90 Mile Beach.
For more information about the Corner Inlet Connections Project visit www.wgcma.vic.gov.au
Work on farms protects inlet