‘The thing that I’m most passionate about and I always, always have been is putting up fences and everybody will tell you that I’m very good at putting up lots of fences. Other people in our group are sort of the specialists with the revegetation side of things, but my specialty is putting up fences and we’ve probably put out about well over 400 kilometres of fencing in the Ranges Link area.’
Heather Adams, Chairperson, Oyster Harbour Catchment Group
There are lots of reason for fencing other than dividing up paddocks and delineating boundaries. For many years the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group (OHCG) have been protecting natural habitat by erecting fences. We use fencing to stop stock from grazing and damaging bushland, creeks and wetlands.
Why do we wish to keep stock out of natural habitat? When stock enter bushland they eat the bush, compact the soil with hard hooves, cause erosion of creek lines and deliver weeds in their manure.
OHCG staff and committee members work with landholders to identify priority bushland to be protected by fencing and the arrangement for undertaking the work. Often the landholder needs to provide in-kind support (labour, equipment… as their contribution to a fencing project. But this can limit landholder’s involvement if they don’t have that capacity. Donations by Mt Barker Chicken to support Gondwana Link have allowed the OHCG to bulk buy fencing materials at very competitive rates and to install fences using a contractor rather than utilising the landholder’s precious resources. Being able to provide both the materials and labour to erect a fence has made it so easy for landholders to agree to protect their bush.
Below is a map of the fencing undertaken by the OHCG. In the 2000-2020 period OHCG have done well over 700km of fencing protecting 635 ha of bushland. And the group achieved over 1500 ha revegetation in the 2007-2020 period.
This fencing has been facilitated by the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group.
Fencing works have been funded/supported via numerous partners including: State Government’s Regional Estuaries Initiative, Australian Governments’ National Landcare Program, Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program, local governments, South Coast NRM, industry partners and corporate donations.