Living Flinders: Building community leadership in landscape management
The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board secured 5 years of funding (2018-2023), through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, to educate and upskill landholders to implement sustainable land management practices on their properties.
Lying between northern arid and southern Mediterranean climates, the southern Flinders Ranges is recognised for its diverse biodiversity and spectacular landscapes, but also for its susceptibility to the effects of climate change.
In recent times, drought conditions have heavily impacted farmers with many destocking their properties to minimise economic losses and land degradation.
The Living Flinders project provides landholders with the opportunity to participate in property plans and sticky beak tours, receive advice and mentoring support and join an on-ground works program to improve ground cover, enhance soil carbon stores and boost productivity.
Read media release: Southern Flinders pastoralists to prosper with climate-ready plan
Productivity and sustainability
With a landscape-scale focus that aims to deliver triple-bottom-line benefits, Living Flinders will help landholders apply sustainable land management practices on their own properties and in collaboration with neighbouring landowners. The project outcomes include:
- improving productivity by increasing native pasture cover and reducing the risk of soil and nutrient loss from hillslope and wind erosion
- improving the long-term sustainability of native pastures by enhancing the level of supporting ecosystem services, including landscape water processes.
Pasture cover improvements will be achieved by raising awareness of best practice rangeland management, improving livestock grazing management and building capacity within farm enterprises to implement and maintain new business models.
Property management plans
Through the Living Flinders program, we have funded the development of individual Property Management Plans that support landowners to:
- recognise and understand landscape processes, condition and trends
- capture water within the landscape
- understand the ecological and edaphic processes that underpin productivity
Facilitated by a specialist property planning facilitator, the process begins with a kitchen-table or group round-table discussion about property goals, followed by an individual landscape mapping exercise that charts elements such as landscape formations and existing vegetation and soil condition.
Each plan will lead to actions, which could include earthworks to reduce erosion, capture moisture and improve vegetation cover, shelter belts, stock containment areas, fence re-alignment, water point relocation, and weed management. To further support landowners, many of these activities were funded and will eventually form demonstration sites and sticky-beak tours to educate the broader community.
The program has provided 16 Property Management Plans to support landowners towards good management practices to the benefit of the landscape now and in the future.
Arid zone direct seeding
Arid zone direct seeding to establish perennial vegetation cover on marginal land in the Southern Flinders Ranges. This project is an extension of the existing project, 'Adapting and innovating arid zone direct seeding machinery and techniques to promote perennial vegetation establishment in the Southern Flinders Ranges', delivered by Greening Australia and funded by the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund.
This existing project included the development and adaptation of an arid-zone seeding machine to provide farmers in marginal grazing country in the Flinders districts with a new tool and technique for modifying soil surfaces and establishing native perennial plants on degraded ground (including saltbush and fodder species).
The current project will focus on building native seed capacity in the region by engaging and employing Traditional Owner groups to collect seed, which will then be used to regenerate sites.
Additional courses and resources
To help drive change, the broader community will also have access to additional extension courses and resources, including:
- Lifetime Ewe Management
- Soil Health Assessment
- Ruminant Nutrition and Containment Area Workshops, including feed testing and salinity water testing
- Revegetating the paddock for shelterbelts and containment area
- Case studies, fact sheets
The Drought Resilience Podcast
Listen to honest accounts of the drought from farming families in Orroroo, Eudunda and Keyneton via The Drought Resilience Podcast. This podcast, produced in partnership with Talking Livestock and Voice it, features four South Australian sheep producers who have battled consecutive years of drought. Each interview reveals how they navigated their businesses and families through the financial and mental hardships, including practical coping strategies such as containment feeding. The Drought Resilience Podcast is supported by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and National Landcare Program.
Stress Free Stockmanship video
The Living Flinders program provided a fully funded specialised two day Stress Free Stockmanship [SFS] course to farmers within the Living Flinders footprint held at Yednalue Station, near Hawker. The course provided a personalised experience of the basic stress free stock handling techniques taught by Bruce Maynard, an innovative dryland farmer from Narromine NSW.
Find out more
For more information about the Living Flinders project, please contact Jessie White, Landscape Project Officer, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0429 151 138
Northern and Yorke Landcape Board
- Regional Land Partnerships – Australian Government's National Landcare Program
Landscape Project Officer
0429 151 138