Buffering the Lakes

A vegetation corridor along Flynns Creek from the Eastern Strzeleckis down to the Latrobe River might not only provide wildlife easy passage through farm land but will also help filter water that ultimately reaches the Gippsland Lakes.

Flynns Creek, located between Rosedale and Traralgon, flows through farm land in a northerly direction to the Latrobe River.

Network Coordinator with the Latrobe Landcare Network, John Crosby, said a Gippsland Lakes Community Grant would be spent working with landholders to create the vegetation corridor.

“Over the last couple of months, we’ve been getting in touch with farmers along Flynns Creek to see if they’re interested in working with us,” explained Mr Crosby.

“We’re asking the farmers to allocate a 10-metre buffer either side of Flynn’s Creek”.

“This is enough land to provide effectively filter runoff from farms and create a buffer,” continued Mr Crosby.

The benefits of vegetation on farms has long been recognised. Benefits include protecting crops, livestock, and the home, reducing soil erosion, salinity control and biodiversity improvements.

“This is a win/win for farmers and the environment,” said Mr Crosby.

“There are real productivity gains to be made from areas of well-established vegetation.

“Environmentally we can create a wildlife corridor which will improve biodiversity. This corridor will filter nutrient and sediment from the land and stop them from reaching the Gippsland Lakes.”

River bank erosion contributes over 70 per cent of the fine sediment that reaches the Gippsland Lakes.

Farm owner, Marshall Dean, is fencing off and revegetating a 400-metre length of Flynns Creek on his property as part of the project.

According to Mr Dean the vegetation corridor which will cover 10 metres either side of the creek, will help provide his stock with shelter and shade.

“The health of the creek is important,” said Mr Dean. “I have a patch of land which I planted out only a year ago and the growth and difference we’ve seen in this time is impressive.

“I’ve got a few individual red gums dotted on the property and we plan on adding some red gums to the vegetation mix around the creek.”

Altogether the Deans will plant more than 1,500 trees and almost one kilometre of fencing.

West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority is supporting the project by removing the existing willows using Regional Riparian Action Plan (RRAP) funding.

This project is funded by the Victorian Government for the Gippsland Lakes.