Landcare grants protecting remnant vegetation in West Arthur

The Shire of West Arthur, through funding from the South West Catchment’s Council (SWCC), is working with landowners to improve biodiversity in the West Arthur area.

Mark and Richard Schinzig have a 1,400ha property, near Moodiarrup, where they produce sheep for wool and meat and carry out some cropping.

They are using funding from SWCC’s Strategic Groundworks Program to protect remnant vegetation, fence off creek-lines and revegetate areas of their property.

So far, they’ve undertaken native seed collection and propagation and in 2016 received assistance to purchase plants and fencing materials.

“We couldn’t have done it so quickly without the funding,” Mr Schinzig said.

“The Shire of West Arthur Landcare Officer, Karrie Williamson, also gave us information on what to plant and where, which was really valuable.”

The Schinzigs said protecting vegetation and revegetating creek-lines would reduce salt and provide shelter for stock.

Graeme Peirce, a farmer and tourism operator, is also using funding from SWCC’s Strategic Groundworks Program to protect remnant vegetation and revegetate wet areas on his property near Lake Towerrinning.

“The land was originally cleared many years ago and there’s been no regrowth since, so without revegetation works when these trees die, that will be it,” Mr Peirce said.

He said he was very excited to see regeneration in a remnant area that was fenced only a few months ago.

Just like the Schinzigs, Mr Pierce said it would have taken him much longer to achieve what he has without funding assistance from SWCC.

“Technical support is the key,” he said. “You could have $100,000 but spend it the wrong way. Karrie has provided the technical support to make it work.”

The Strategic Groundworks Program has provided funding over three years to 13 community Landcare groups within the South West Catchments Council region who directly facilitate and engage the community in Landcare and sustainable agricultural activities on private and public land.

The funds go towards on-ground works to protect biodiversity, sites of ecological value and to support the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. In addition, the funds assist to build capacity within the Landcare groups to engage the community and increase knowledge and skills.

This program is delivered by the South West Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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