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Water works on Edgbaston

Steve Heggie (Healthy Landscape Manager)
Published 22 Apr 2015 by Steve Heggie (Healthy Landscape Manager)

Edgbaston’s endemic species of aquatic plants, snails and fish (of which the endangered Red-finned Blue-­eye fish is most famous) are all intimately dependent on the artesian springs of Edgbaston where they evolved over the course of many thousands of years.

But the wider hydrology of the reserve is one of Bush Heritage's key management challenges. Past land use has caused erosion that's changed drainage lines, drying some areas, making ponds of others, and altering flow velocities and volumes.

We need to carefully manage all this in order to protect the spring environments and to prevent the invasive gambusia fish from colonising the remaining blue-eye refuges.

We're fortunate to have recently had Dr Ken Tinley volunteer his time on Edgbaston to give advice on measures to repair and restore problematic aspects of the catchment’s run off.

Ken spent a lifetime working in African game parks as a ranger and ecologist. In Australia, along with Dr Hugh Pringle, he developed the Ecological Management Understanding (EMU) philosophy and methodology that Bush Heritage has implemented on our Charles Darwin and Eurardy reserves in Western Australia.

At Edgbaston Ken quickly took in and mapped the lay of the land. He then provided us with practical and cost-efficient solutions to deal with the catchment run-off that's been affecting a spring critically important to the red-fin’s survival.

We’re now in the process of implementing his advice (work that's enabled by generous donations from our supporters).

Thanks Ken! And a huge thanks to everyone else for sticking up for all these tiny creatures.

Ken and Dave. Ken and Dave.
Ken's spring catchment map. Ken's spring catchment map.
The Red-fin Blue-eye. The Red-fin Blue-eye.
The spring in question. The spring in question.
Ephemoral outflow channels. Ephemoral outflow channels.
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