Erosion control on farms part 2

Managing impacts on threatened species by reducing erosion on farms - update two years on

Erosion control on farms part 2

Managing impacts on threatened species by reducing erosion on farms - update two years on

Collaborations -

LEP23 - 014_LLC06_1

The issue

A 2018 DPI Fisheries report described a sediment slug in the Lachlan River that starts at Hovells Creek and continues for more than 150km downstream. It has now increased to over 170km. Hovells Creek is a major source of the sedimentation, much of which comes from erosion gullies on farms. Water and sediment loss is also an issue for farmers. The slug has many impacts on the threatened species of frogs, fish, birds and riparian vegetation of the Lachlan including filling in all the refugia and Murray Cod breeding holes along the 170 km stretch.

The solution

Two years ago we submitted a case study about our first ten sites. We have now almost finished our current program of earthworks at 25 sites under five separate grants. HCLG has been proudly supported by two grants from the NSW Environmental Trust and one from Murray Darling Healthy Rivers to do the earthworks. We have also been supported by a grant from South East Local Land Services and another from Local Land Services to do fencing and planting to stabilise the earthworks and gullies. Works slow the speed of water through the landscape and are tailored to each site.

The impact

Earthworks have been done at 23 sites on 13 farms, with only two to go. Soil Conservation Service estimated that we were losing at least 2400 tonnes of sediment per year from these properties into Hovells Creek and the Lachlan, and we have now almost completely prevented this loss. We have improved the resilience of the properties to drought by keeping soil and water on the property and we have reduced a key threatening process for many threatened species in those waterways.


We have shown that incremental work at a local level can have a huge impact at a regional level. We have found that stakeholder collaboration can be very valuable for outcomes. Canberra University students have provided good evidence that we are capturing sediment, while we have provided them with a learning opportunity. We held a field day this year where people learned how to manage erosion gullies at a reasonable cost.

Key facts

  • A 170+km sand slug in the Lachlan River impacts threatened species
  • Much of it comes from farms in the Hovells Creek catchment
  • HCLG has done erosion control works at 23 sites
  • We collaborated with Hilltops Council and Canberra University

Project Partners