Biological soil crusts
Biological soil crusts are ecosystems in miniature, protecting and building our soils. Let's take a moment to appreciate their benefits.Read More
Erosion occurs when the soil crust and its cover of vegetation is damaged.
The soil crust is made up of lichens, leaf litter and soil invertebrates that together protect the soil surface and increase its ability to absorb water.
The poor placement or design of tracks, dams and infrastructure, over-grazing and the compaction of the soil, often caused by the action of hard-hooved animals, and vehicles are major causes of erosion.
With no vegetation cover to slow down its movement, water that would normally soak into the soil can run-off, washing more soil away and creating new drainage lines.
Simple silt traps can be created by filling erosion gullies with tree branches to slow the flow of water over the ground and catch waterborne soil particles and seeds.
Leaves eventually drop off the branches also helping to trap seeds, soil and organic matter and over time the area begins to stabilise as the soil is held together and new plants establish.
Similarly, simply cutting some bands into areas of compacted soil can help reduce water run off and allow sediment and water to pool, encouraging new plants to establish.
The seeds of plants caught in silt traps quickly germinate and help to further slow the movement of water and stabilise the soil.
Major earthworks are sometimes needed to remove levy banks or dams that disrupt the natural flow of water, or to repair serious erosion gullies. The Gungoandra Creek rock weir and fish way on Scottsdale Reserve is a great example.
Restoring the natural flow of water across the land surface helps to return water to creeks, rivers and natural aquifers and nourishes the soil and native habitats.
Hydrological rehabilitation is a focus of our work at Boolcoomatta Reserve. We recently completed works at Wiperaminga Hills to stop water and soil moving off the property quickly, and hold it longer so it's available for fauna and flora.Read More
Various infiltration and soil erosion mitigation techniques have been applied in some areas on Bon Bon Station Reserve over the past few years, where we've had the tools (and advice) available to start a repair process. We've some attached photos here to show the results so far.Read More
Soil conservation is one of the ongoing challenges we have on all our reserves, some more than others. There's been much modification of the land over the past 200 years, with new animals roaming across the land, eating things and changing the soil structure and composition. This is the case at Boolcoomatta Reserve.Read More
There's a very exciting project that was finished at Scottsdale this week! Nearly four years in the planning, design and funding the Gungoandra Creek rock weir and fish way has been successfully constructed over the last three weeks. It's the most significant component of the erosion control plan that volunteer soil consultant Peter Fogarty has helped Scottsdale with.Read More