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Waterways work balances conservation and land use

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Dean and Jacqui Bicknell from Nunile believe land management is about achieving a balance between sustainable use and conservation.

As part of the Wheatbelt NRM Avon Waterways project supported by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Australian Government they have carried out work on the waterway running through their place with the aim of improving the water quality of the Avon River by reducing erosion and nutrient run-off from the land.

This has been achieved by revegetating, excluding stock and managing feral animals from a hectare of waterway.

Harking from broad-acre farming backgrounds in Northampton and Badgingarra, the Bicknell’s know their conservation efforts contribute to increasing the sustainability of their land and ultimately its value.

On top of the support received from Wheatbelt NRM, the Bicknell’s invest a further $10 per plant in site preparation, watering and weed control as they see every plant as vital for their property.

The couple are really happy that two of their immediate neighbours are also participating in the project to manage a further 6.6ha of the same waterway.

The majority of riparian vegetation on this section of the waterway qualifies for listing under the EPBC classification of the threatened Eucalypt Woodlands of the WA Wheatbelt. In this project the on ground management is supporting open woodland communities dominated by Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus rudis). 

Dean and Jacqui are not new to natural resource management, they began excluding stock from the creek several years ago and noticed that it took 2 years for the remaining native vegetation to begin recruiting new plants. The support from Wheatbelt NRM has helped to speed up the process of creating a healthy riparian zone that they hope will provide habitat for native animals as well as having the flow on effect of reducing sedimentation and eutrophication of the regions waterways and creating a more beautiful place to live.

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