Jeffrey’s Gully

Stabilisation Project

Making a Difference -

LLCI022-043

Jeffrey’s Gully

Stabilisation Project

The issue

Jeffrey’s Gully is a dry gully of shale bedrock and red-brown alluvial soil which runs approximately 9kms through private property in Somerton, North West NSW.

Agricultural production and overgrazing of Jeffrey’s Gully had led to a reduction in understory and ground cover, soil compaction and trampling resulting in serious erosion issues.

The solution

A stabilisation project for Jeffrey’s Gully was initiated in 1992 by members of the Chaffey Family. Support and funding from the National Landcare Programme (NLP) was secured. Leap (Landcare and Environment Action Program) had been launched in the same year and the project was able to access this program for the on-ground works required.

A series of twelve wire weirs, three large concrete drop structures, piped diversion structures and rock flumes were constructed to combat and redirect run off and to heighten the gully floor by preventing silt movement.

Fencing for stock exclusion and over 200 plantings occurred along a 3 km stretch of the gully. Strategic planting of Casuarinas along the floor of the gully aimed to create a swirling effect in running water and reduce the velocity in which the water drops silt. Acacias were planted along the top edge of the gully for stability. Large endemic species of Eucalyptus albens, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Brachychiton were also established.

The impact

24 years later and the section of Jeffrey’s Gully that was improved remains stable. The gully floor has been raised significantly and ground cover is abundantly present across much of the gully.

The original plantings are advanced and natural revegetation has occurred due to the fencing excluding stock long term, including the re-emergence of Lomandra longifolia. There is also now an abundance of wildlife calling the gully home, including Echidna, Kangaroo and many bird species.

Learnings

The rehabilitation of Jeffrey’s Gully is ongoing, the Chaffey family has committed much time and resources to maintaining the area for the future. Excluding stock from the gully area has resulted not only in reduced compaction and increased groundcover but has also resulted in natural revegetation and an increase in wildlife habitat.

Images

 

Key facts

  • Over 200 trees planted
  • 3 large concrete drop structures constructed
  • 12 wire weirs constructed
  • Rock flumes and piped diversions used
  • Approximately 3 kms of gully improved

Project Partners