Improving Landscape Hydration Even in Drought

The use of innovative techniques at 'Urandangie' near Guyra, NSW

Improving Landscape Hydration Even in Drought

The use of innovative techniques at 'Urandangie' near Guyra, NSW

Community Participation -


The issue

Along with the rest of the New England, Bill and Jaqui Perrottet’s property ‘Urandangie’ near Guyra was desperately feeling the effects of drought during 2019. Perhaps one of Bill’s greatest challenges during such a difficult time was to protect important environmental assets while also benefiting productivity through improved health and management of livestock.

Zoom out and we see an even greater challenge for the whole community under such conditions - how to protect, conserve and sustain water flows in our highland creek and river systems, because they are the main source of water for the town of Guyra and city of Armidale.

The solution

Our Malpas Catchment Coordinator had noticed the innovative work Bill and Jacqui were undertaking to address their concerns, and convinced them that a great many others would be interested. A field day was organised for 31st July 2019.

Bill demonstrated their approach to whole farm planning, which incorporates fencing, water infrastructure, livestock movements and a precision fertiliser application technique.

He also talked about the benefits for farm and stock management, from fencing riparian zones on Urandangie.

“These include more efficient mustering, minimized stock losses due to bogging and substantially improved stock health through improved water-quality, and there are few, if any, negatives,” he said.

The impact

"As a result of constructing leaky weirs in our first order gully lines, we are are holding cleaner water for longer in our creeks."

"This has created a tinge of green across areas where the soils are becoming more hydrated," said Bill.

Insights gained by participants included how to look at the farm as a whole, methods for fencing creeks and providing creek crossings relevant to stock use, flexible fencing and fertiliser assessments, treatments for gullies that promote water holding, and the continued need for extension in all of these issues.

When asked how likely they were to implement some of these practices in the future, 80% of respondents said very likely or likely to make some of these changes on their own property.

Key facts

  • Malpas Catchment Group ran a field day at 'Urandangie' near Guyra on 31st July 2019.
  • More than 50 people attended the day.
  • Bill Perrottet demonstrated innovative techniques he is using to 'rehydrate' his landscape.
  • The techniques had a positive impact during the worst drought on record.

Project Partners