Erosion Control Workshop with Craig Sponholtz at Breadalbane

After more than a year of negotiating How lucky were we to get Craig Sponholtz from Dryland Solutions, Sante Fe, straight from the USA to Breadalbane to host an erosion control workshop for 45 people. The workshop participants were from a range of backgrounds and interests including project officers from both CMA’s a PHD student, and many different erosion challenges. Craig spent time finding out what the interests of the group were and tailored his presentation to suit.

Craig Sponholtz is a world-leading expert in watershed restoration using techniques that harness natural hydrology to self-repair riparian zones and watersheds.
Following the lead from his mentor Bill Zeedyk, “Let the water do the work” his techniques emphasise working with, rather than against nature. He believes that good restoration work should be invisible.

After a morning of theory the group went on a site visit to a nearby gully erosion site at “Greendale”. Craig had only spent a brief time there in the previous afternoon and was well on top of the issues that were presented there, explaining what would be around the next bend as we walked up through the gully.The day was a huge success and we are really hoping that if our funding application through the Environmental Trust is successful that we will be able to get Craig back for some hands on erosion control workshops. Many thanks to Leanne Lehin for providing funding through the Regional Landcare Facilitator Program and  The Breadalbane Plains Landcare group did a great job catering with particular thanks to Katjia Ries and Philip Bell for hosting Craig for the night and allowing us to do a tour of the gully site. For more about Craig’s work including the “one rock dam” and “Zuni bowl” there are downloads available on our blog site.



Resources from our Erosion Control Workshop

Dryland Solution Website

Erosion Control Field Guide



Upcoming Events

Erosion Control Workshop – Breadalbane 20th March

With Craig Sponholtz

Course Outine:

Morning session:

Watershed Patterns and Processes

  1. I.                    Reading watershed patterns and processes
  2. II.                  Erosion and deposition processes
  3. III.                Degradation and desertification

 Morning Tea:

Regenerative Principles and Practices for Watershed Health

  1. I.                    Floodwater agro-ecology and the runoff resource
  2. II.                  Regenerative design principles and priorities

Lunch Break:

Afternoon session:

Introduction to Harvesting Runoff to Reverse Erosion

  1. I.                    Preventing sheet erosion and harvesting sheet flow
  2. II.                  Preventing gully incision and down-cutting
  3. III.                Grade control, floodplain access and moisture storage
  4. IV.               Headcut treatments and plunge pools

 View in field examples as location and time allows