Bulahdelah and Great Lakes Keyline Project

Sharing tools, knowledge and skills for soil regeneration

Bulahdelah and Great Lakes Keyline Project

Sharing tools, knowledge and skills for soil regeneration

Stronger Together -

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The issue

Past land use practices in the Great Lakes and Karuah Catchments such as clear-fell clearing, set stocked grazing, cultivation and heavy fertiliser use have contributed to widespread issues with soil degradation including compaction and erosion. This has led to not only reduced productivity, but also to problems with sediment and nutrient run-off into our waterways, including the RAMSAR listed Myall Lakes system. A technique that locals have found useful for improving soil health and reducing run-off is Keyline pattern non-inverting cultivation, but the necessary tools are expensive and infrequently used, so they are out of reach for many landholders.

The solution

The Bulahdelah Sustainable Farming Group, through the auspices of Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare, successfully sought a grant through the 2018 NLP Smart Farms Program to purchase a Yeomans Plow and surveying equipment for local Landcare members to share and use on their farms. KGLL funded a purpose-built trailer for safe transport. With the assistance of our Partnership Program with Hunter LLS and the support of Midcoast Council, KGLL is rolling out a workshop program on Keyline planning and surveying, integrating farm-made biological inputs, RASH soil assessment and grazing planning to wrap around the use of the equipment.

The impact

This project has seen close collaboration between the Bulahdelah and Topi Topi Sustainable Farming Groups and the Great Lakes Soil Health Group. Peer to peer learning and the voice of locals experienced in using the technology in both pasture improvement and tree planting situations has been important. Keyline planning and sharing the necessary tools as a Landcare project has already proven valuable in engaging our members in Regenerative Agriculture concepts – not only Keyline as a technology for landscape hydration and carbon sequestration while reducing run-off issues, but also Holistic Grazing Planning, actively boosting soil biology with DIY inputs, and monitoring soil health.

Key facts

  • 31 properties so far expressing interest in the project
  • 4 local groups collaborating
  • 6 hectares treated in first month of equipment availability

Project Partners