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Healing Hamelin

Michelle Judd (Field Officer)
Published 22 Apr 2021 
about  Hamelin Station Reserve  

Fence removal on Hamelin is one of the key tasks for the Malgana Rangers when they come on country. Photo by Michelle Judd.<br/> Fence removal on Hamelin is one of the key tasks for the Malgana Rangers when they come on country. Photo by Michelle Judd.
Malgana Rangers Alex Dodd, Marika Oakley and Richard Cross. Photo by Michelle Judd.<br/> Malgana Rangers Alex Dodd, Marika Oakley and Richard Cross. Photo by Michelle Judd.
Malgana Rangers undertaking erosion work at Hamelin. Photo by Michelle Judd.<br/> Malgana Rangers undertaking erosion work at Hamelin. Photo by Michelle Judd.
Ken and the Malgana Rangers brushing over the track once the fence has been removed  Photo by Michelle Judd.<br/> Ken and the Malgana Rangers brushing over the track once the fence has been removed Photo by Michelle Judd.

When the ‘world was soft’ is a term used by Malgana Rangers that fits perfectly with our land management work on Hamelin Station Reserve. It refers to the fact that pre-colonisation there was no heavy machinery or hard-hooved stock.

We are proud to work with Malgana Rangers to gently heal the country.

In October 2019, we held a workshop with Malgana Rangers and environmental restoration consultants. A gully system adjacent to a culturally significant site, and directly impacting Hamelin Pool and the world-renowned Stromatolites, was identified as actively eroding and in need of restoration. 

With our support, the Malgana Rangers have installed sieve rolls (rolled up mesh filled with rocks) within gullies to slow water and encourage soil deposits and revegetation./p>

We have laid out jute matting across bare eroding slopes to trap soil, seed and moisture to encourage vegetation growth. This work, combined with the removal of hard-hooved stock, is enabling the landscape to heal and recover.

During its days as a pastoral station, Hamelin was divided into a five-mile grid of paddocks to manage Merino sheep. These fences impact wildlife and usually have a track running along their length that captures and channels water, leading to erosion. We've also been working with Malgana Rangers to remove fences and decommission tracks so wildlife can move freely, vegetation can grow, and water rehydrate the landscape.

While we work, we laugh, chat, and share Two-way Science. Rangers teach us Traditional Knowledge gained from family and Elders while we discuss knowledge gained from scientists.

The Malgana Ranger team is based out of Gathaaguda (Shark Bay). They're currently working through their Certificate 3 in Conservation and Land Management, with components of their training carried out on Hamelin. It's fantastic that they're now able to use these skills at Hamelin.

We’ve applied for another grant with the Rangelands Natural Resource Management (NRM) to enable us to continue engaging the Malgana Rangers in more restoration works.

The Hamelin Science Fair is coming up in August and we’re looking forward to working alongside the Malgana Rangers and wider Malgana community on that too.

 

Malgana Rangers Alex Dodd, Marika Oakley and Richard Cross. Photo by Michelle Judd.<br/> Malgana Rangers Alex Dodd, Marika Oakley and Richard Cross. Photo by Michelle Judd.
Malgana Rangers undertaking erosion work at Hamelin. Photo by Michelle Judd.<br/> Malgana Rangers undertaking erosion work at Hamelin. Photo by Michelle Judd.
Ken and the Malgana Rangers brushing over the track once the fence has been removed  Photo by Michelle Judd.<br/> Ken and the Malgana Rangers brushing over the track once the fence has been removed Photo by Michelle Judd.