“Chain of Ponds were once common across the south-eastern part of Australia,” said Natural Resource Management Planner with the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Paula Camenzuli.
“At first glance, the Chain of Ponds might simply look like a series of dams,” added Paula.
But they are actually a complex waterway system of irregular spaced, often oval ponds which are linked by shallow floodways,” said Paula.
The WGCMA along with partner organisations such as the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), HVP Plantations, the Wellington Shire Council and Trust for Nature have been working with private landholders since 2016 to protect and enhance the Pond system.
“We’ve been fortunate to be able to work with 17 landholders to do such things as place fencing around the Ponds, repair erosion sites, plant native trees and permanently protect ponds and native vegetation under Trust for Nature covenants,” said Paula.
Since the project commenced over 13 kilometres of fencing has been erected, more than 40 hectares of native vegetation has been planted and just over eight priority erosion sites have been addressed.
More than 35ha of riparian habitats that include ponds and priority waterways is being permanently protected by Trust for Nature covenants on HVP Plantations’ land and an adjoining farm.
The results, combined with the recent rains, have been spectacular with some of the sites being transformed and full of water for the first time in a number of years,” said Paula.
Landholder John Boyd of Stockdale says while he’s always been a keen planter of trees, he did have some anxieties about fencing off quite significant areas of the farm. However, those early nerves have been replaced by a sense of pride in the work that has been done.