Sunday, 14 May 2017 21:53

Managing the Riparian Area

The Riparian area is the space between the stream, river, watercourse and the land. A healthy, functioning riparian area contains dense ground cover and a variety of plant species.

The benefits of a healthy riparian area include improved water quality, reduced erosion, increased wildlife habitat for native birds, insects and reptiles, and increased shade and shelter options for stock management. Ideally the riparian area should be a least 25m wide.

As rainfall runoff passes through thick grass cover, water is filtered of contaminants like soil, nutrients and animal waste helping to maintain water quality. Managed grazing in these areas provides options during occasions of extreme weather events. Complete ground cover, including a variety of vegetation types, provides valuable habitat for native animals and birds. Well vegetated stream banks are also more stable and less likely to develop active erosion points.

A healthy riparian area serves another important function and that is to slow the movement of water. The slower rate of water movement through an area, the more is able to soak into the landscape. And with less energy in the water flow, less damage in caused in terms of erosion.

Importantly, riparian areas that are fenced to manage stock access still require active management. Weeds should be removed by hand or spot spraying and active management should be applied to prevent pest animals from establishing.

Riparian areas should be messy, dishevelled and well vegetated to be functioning effectively. Unlike people!

Upper Lachlan Landcare supports a community-based approach to managing and protecting our natural resources – creating more productive and sustainable farms, conserving our environment and building more cohesive and resilient communities.

For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Thursday, 25 May 2017 11:11

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