Catchment Recovery - a healing legacy to fire-affected properties

News article |

Catchment Recovery, one of the Cudlee Creek and Cherry Gardens Bushfire Recovery projects rolled out by Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu, has helped nearly 150 properties through seven grant rounds. The grants have supported the establishment of fire-adapted native grasses and nurseries; rehabilitating farm land, undertaking revegetation; restoring and protecting watercourses and dams; and supporting the reinvigoration of Landcare groups within the fire scars.

As this $2.7M project draws to a close in 2024, Senior Stewardship Officer Will Hannaford reflects on the many achievements of the program.

“In the two or three years after a fire, there was a window of opportunity to really get on top of the woody weeds that germinated in such dramatic abundance, before they produced their first seeds.

“Broom was our highest priority but gorse, tagasaste, artichoke thistle and blackberry where targeted as well. The weed control work saw over 700 hectares of weeds controlled as well, 16 kilometres of watercourses and over 130 kilometres of roadside dealt with.

“Catchment Recovery enabled a focus on the protection of creek lines with critical permanent pool habitats.

“This involved helping landholders install permanent watercourse fencing that was both fire resistant and livestock proof. Permanent pools that retain water for most of the year are the most ecologically important part of a watercourse as so many native plants and animals depend on them to survive through summer, including native fish such as mountain galaxias (Galaxias olidus).

“Over eight kilometres of sensitive creek-line was protected and nearly 5000 native seedlings were planted and guarded.

“The Catchment Recovery funding really allowed us to get on with it.

“We couldn’t have done the work without the outstanding cooperation of the fire affected landholders. Many of these people went out of their way to support the work with their own time and money, and we really appreciate their willingness to work together," explained Mr Hannaford.

The Catchment Recovery program wound up in June 2024 and was funded by the State Government of South Australia.

Catchment Recovery - a healing legacy to fire-affected properties

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