building, ecology, erosion, fencing, kangaroos, livestock, permaculture, planning, revegetation, trees, waterways, zones
While our impact on this landscape has been pretty minimal so far, with the completion of our first phase of fencing, we’ve begun more major infrastructure works. We’ve started by fencing off two big chunks of ground encircling the erosion gullies, surrounding them with a roughly 20-metre buffer zone for future woodland regeneration.
In a permaculture sense, these patches of ground will be our Zone 5, our minimal-management ‘wilderness’ zones, designed for habitat and ecosystem services such as erosion and salinity control and water filtration. Abutting our western boundary they form a link with the creeks and swamps that feed the Congeratinga River. With these zones now marked onto the landscape we can plan outwards towards zones of increasing management intensity.
I’m amazed at how much the placement of these fences has reshaped our perception of the property. Where it previously felt like a sometimes-overwhelmingly vast area, now the property is beginning to retreat into discrete zones that are easier to think about, plan for and manage. While the fences are relatively permeable for wildlife, they will also hopefully provide a mild deterrent for the more voracious eaters of young trees and support the natural regeneration of these areas. Now that cattle have been off the property for a year, we’ve begun to see areas of native grasses and rushes rebounding inside these fenced zones. With protection from some Fort-Knox-inspired tree guards (wire mesh and star-droppers), trees that had been gnawed down to the dirt are exploding with new growth.
At the recommendation of other local farmers, we opted for an 8-wire fence that uses a combination of barbed and plain wires rather than the more commonly used ‘ringlock’ fencing wire recommended for sheep. This 8-wire combo is apparently suitable for both sheep and cattle, with barbed strands placed at strategic heights to deter overly curious livestock, while also allowing both deer and kangaroos to pass through without trashing or digging under the fence as they may do with the less-flexible ringlock. We spotted a group of kangaroos inside one of the fenced reveg zones curiously nosing around the new fencelines. After flashing us a few dirty looks, they wandered off to escape through the boundary fence, another fence constructed on similar lines. As for the butterflies, they don’t give a damn.
Rob Malone said:
Hello all, I see you have updated the site fairly quickly. Hope the day went well with all the mechanical work on the tractor. The web page is looking good as well, who is the photographer and editor? I will get Pamela to have more of a look at it.
Talking about yards I forgot you were looking at sheep so your crush will be a lot smaller and cheaper than the cattle crush. Also yards, I get gates and wire from Stewart Trading, they also have good portable/perminent sheep yards at good prices. They will deliver for about $70 and you can put together and rearrange your own yards. Also Finsbury Pumps website below, I got a 50series because of the high lift, but a 40 series (both twin impellar) may be ok due to lift which seems to go from dam at 75m to top at 95m.
Catch you later
Hey Rob, thanks for those leads and good advice, we’ll check them out. I’m the main writer/photographer, with editorial guidance from Sophie! Catch you on the Fleurieu again soon, Joel
good work! (I’ve built a fence or two and those look great). ~J