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Gully transformation at Beefwood Park

The day’s task is to push a lot of dirt around. The end result, however, will be a complete transformation of the landscape.

At Beefwood Park, a 102-hectare property 20 kilometres west of Lakeland, Cape York NRM has supported the land manager’s challenge of turning an eroding mass of gullies into a productive landscape.

Why? To restore the country to a healthy condition, to further the owner’s land management skills, and to keep the soil where it is supposed to be—on the land and not muddying up waterways.

‘This project has three main aims,’ says Cape York NRM Project Officer Harry James.

‘First, stabilise the actively eroding areas. This has been achieved by using a bulldozer to flatten the whole area. Second, stop sediment from running off into waterways. Several rock check dams were built into the channel to slow down water flow and trap the sediment, and a diversion bank was constructed along the gully edge to direct water away from the gully.

‘The last thing is to grow grass. That will be the hardest part. Gypsum has been incorporated into the soil across the whole area—this improves the soil structure, helps water to infiltrate the soil, and will reduce soil dispersion. Finally, the area was covered in mulch and right before the wet season grass seed will be spread to restore ground cover.’

Landholder Ken Vale is impressed with the results.

‘It’s great to see everything fixed up—to see the land restored. It already looks so much better. I can’t wait to see it keep improving over the next few years’.

To prevent cattle from entering the area, Ken will build an exclusion fence. From this point, it will be left to recover on its own.

While Ken will keep an eye on the progress of recovery, Cape York NRM will keep official records, considering such things as the integrity of erosion control structures and ground cover recovery.

The Scaling Up Normanby Basin gully and streambank remediation in priority areas project is funded by the Australian Government and delivered through the Reef Trust