Pinaroo Farm Riparian-zone restoration

Wingecarribee River Restoration at Burradoo

Pinaroo Farm Riparian-zone restoration

Wingecarribee River Restoration at Burradoo

Collaborations -

LEP23 - 014_LLC04_1

The issue

Southern Highlands Landcare Network volunteers, led by Project coordinator Ian Royds, have been caring for a section of the Wingecarribee River for over 30 years. In 2024, the focus has been on a section of the cleared and overgrazed riparian land at Pinaroo Farm, over-run by invasive weed species such as privet, willows, hawthorn, blackberry, and honeysuckle. Additional environmental issues such as erosion and bank collapse, sedimentation and turbidity of waterway, and vegetation and habitat changes support a high population of invasive European Carp in the river.

The solution

Ian and his team of volunteers from SHLN began addressing the issue initially with collaboration from the landholder to clear large sections of invasive weed species to allow access to the riparian zone. With the support of Greening Australia, Wingecarribee Shire Council, the Oatley Fauna and Flora Conservation Society through their Adopt a Tree Project, and the Fish Habitat Action Grant, volunteers carried out further weed control and planted native trees and shrubs to restore the area. The focus was on planting canopy and understorey shrubs close to the riverbanks to provide shade to the water, quality habitat and competition to weed plants

The impact

The achievements of this SHLN volunteer group with key collaborative support is clear for all to see. Where the riparian area was once covered in weed species, it is now being returned to its former natural state, allowing for ecosystem functioning to be restored over time. The landholder has fenced out a large section of river frontage from livestock to eliminate all grazing pressure and carries out routine maintenance slashing between trees. Ongoing access to Landcare volunteers for site maintenance has also been permitted. Overall, this project has succeeded in providing a major improvement in local ecosystem heath and has enhanced the river's recreational and ecological value.

Key facts

  • 1290 plants have now been established on the Pinaroo property
  • All plants have local provenance and are adaptable to frost, drought, wet conditions experienced in Southern Highland riparian zones.
  • Plants were planted in rip lines or by direct drilling along with slow release native fertilizer, water gel crystals and staked cardboard covers for protection.
  • Weeds were initially controlled by slashing, spraying and or chipping.

Project Partners