North East Downs in conjunction with SQ Landscapes held a workshop and field day to demonstrate to landholders the method used for a low cost gully repair at Ballon Pastoral Co that can easily be replicated on other properties with very little outlays.

The technique Brenden Ballon wished to use is similar to the one that has been used up around Bowen by the NQ dry tropics NRM group that was developed by Rodger Savoury. The aim is to use minimal machinery in conjunction with a high density cattle herd to repair the gully erosion for a cost effective project.

Brenden knocked the edges in with his dozer so the sides weren’t too steep for the cattle to walk on. He then put a semi- permanent twin electric wire around the perimeter of the gully.

Once the fencing was complete he  put a herd of about 140 head of cattle into the gully using electric fencing to keep them bunched up at night time then during the day they were be let out to graze and water.  Cattle being bunched up in this way increases manure and urine concentrations in the soil making a better environment for grass growth. Grass seed was thrown out before and after cattle had been through. Once the cattle were finished, the head of the gully was rocked up to stop under cutting and  a number of small rock banks to slow down the water speed till the grass has established. The reclaimed gully will be fenced off using electric fencing for a period of 2 years.

.Grazing and soil carbon, a pathway to erosion repair.

 Rob Young spoke on how important soil carbon, was and the links to moisture and fertility.

·         The importance of ground cover at the right height,

·         rotational grazing benefits,

·          grazing to rehabilitate the landscape,

·         by building soil & sequestration of carbon,

·         retaining water in the landscape through humus.

General erosion, control. methods and prevention were covered on the day with a video.

North East Downs Landcare Public Fund

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