In September 2016, after 5 years of negotiations and fundraising, Nature Glenelg Trust (NGT) purchased the 301 ha Mt Burr Swamp property. This former farming property was largely cleared and drained from the 1950s to the early 1980s. It possesses significant ecological restoration potential for two reasons:
- Firstly, it’s located in the headwaters of a drainage system with reliable flows and has a high proportion of wetland habitat (41% of property) that can be hydrologically restored without implications for adjoining agricultural properties;
- Secondly, it has good proximity to existing high value remnant vegetation with populations of threatened species, as Mt Burr Swamp shares a common boundary of 3.7 km with the 600 ha Marshes Native Forest Reserve.
Summary of project outcomes
Immediately upon purchase, NGT installed a temporary weir in an agricultural drain to partially restore the water regime of the 66 ha main swamp, which was later fenced. This converted a seasonally waterlogged and heavily grazed area into a permanent freshwater marsh in which the nationally vulnerable Growling Grass Frog successfully bred in summer 2016/17, and now supports a large and diverse waterbird community.
Over coming years all wetlands on the property will be hydrologically restored and terrestrial areas revegetated. A shearing shed on the property is undergoing a transformation into a community environmental education and recreational space.
What makes this project so special?
The project was only made possible by the patient support of the former owners for future ecological restoration. The project has captured the imagination of the South East community and has received a huge amount of financial and volunteer support.