Rehydrating Landscapes and the Swanbrook Catchment

Rebuilding landscape function

Rehydrating Landscapes and the Swanbrook Catchment

Rebuilding landscape function

Community Participation -


The issue

Old farming practices and continued dry conditions have impacted heavily on the Swanbrook catchment, dehydrating the landscape and stripping it of nutrients and organic matter. Erosion and the lack of ground cover have affected the landscape's ability to retain water and nutrients and cycle them efficiently through the catchment.

The solution

Gwymac Landcare engaged the Mulloon Institute to facilitate a landscape rehydration fundamentals workshop.  The workshop was designed to help landholders build their understanding of landscape rehydration and the key elements and processes that influence landscape hydration.  A range of practical strategies were discussed, including carbon recycle, water retention, rehydration techniques to improve soil health and biodiversity and thermodynamics. 

Over fifty people from around the region attended the workshop held at Swan Vale.  A field walk enabled the facilitators to explain issues and techniques that could be used in creating a functioning water cycle to restore productivity, fertility and biodiversity in degraded landscapes as part of the rehydration process.

Following on from the success of the workshop Swan Vale Landcare group engaged Mulloon Institute and Northern Tablelands Local Land Services to complete a feasibility and scoping report with data review and digital mapping of the Swanbrook catchment.  The report will also provide a summary of steps required to rebuild landscape function and document the hydrology and geomorphology of the Swanbrook catchment.

The impact

Landholders had a fantastic opportunity to connect with the Mulloon Institute to learn about the fundamentals of landscape rehydration via a collaborative approach and how to use these types of measures on their farms to achieve landscape rehabilitation.  Swan Vale Landcare will benefit from a foundation document and report to be completed by the Mulloon Institute, which will assist the group to develop and deliver a catchment scale rehydration project.  This is a great opportunity to return ecosystems in the catchment to health and vitality and maximise farm productivity.

Key facts

  • Over 50 people attended the landscape rehydration workshop.
  • Water retention and cycling are key to soil and biodiversity health within the catchment
  • Ongoing collaboration with the Mulloon Institute and Northern Tablelands LLS to deliver a catchment rehydration project across the catchment

Project Partners