Last spring the Milkwood interns cooked up a design to tackle the erosion on a degraded hillside next to the woolshed, and then implemented and planted it all out. This design was done collaboratively and realised with simple tools and natural materials. One year on, it’s working a treat.
The parameters for this design had constraints of time and budget, as well as the fact that the area to be dealt with was quite large and exposed. On top of these factors, in the middle of the area was a former path that was eroding into a gully. Not good. Time to fix.
One year on, this hillside is clearly repairing. While this obviously wasn’t a fancy design or implementation in terms of scale or budget (we had to use whatever tree seedlings were available for free, for example), it has slowed and spread the water, and many of the trees are starting to leap ahead.
You can see the results from comparable shots – the first batch were taken in October 2011, the second batch taken in November 2012…
The gabions that were built across the path/gully have done their job, slowing and spreading the water towards planting either side…
The contour plantings have also done well, despite no decent rain this last Winter and Spring…
And looking downhill, the gullification has prettymuch stopped…
I’m not even sure if these photos translate that well, but for us this was a very interesting project – primarily because time and funds were so tight for it…
Like any farm, at Milkwood there’s a long, long list of things to do and repair, and that gully/path near the woolshed wasn’t, in many ways, anywhere near the top of the list. However we were aware that anything we could do to get trees up around the woolshed would benefit everyone in terms of making that space more comfortable, so we gave it a week, and let the interns of last spring direct the design.
Another little inch towards a more comfortable, abundant place to live, while letting the water do the work…
Big thanks to last Spring’s interns Sabina, Jurgen, Claire, Liv, Adam and Ashley, and to Milkwood crew Trev and Nick for making it all happen.
Very nice job of water control and establishing root mass.
It should also now be self repairing.
As one who lives on slopes and immpliments cheap measures so slow the erosion, I have to say, I get these pictures really well. I especially liked the rock work, as it was a compromise between a pretty bleak (but necessary) road run-off system, and a pretty unforgiving hardpan road. I know what you’re dealing with, they aren’t easy solutions even if they are cheap! We are using felled trees for our gabions, as we’ve seen it work in some of the deeper gullies on our block – only nature felled those ones without our assistance. To compliment the system… Read more »
It is interesting to see how you have accomplished so much in that 12 months by reducing stock and pedestrian traffic, putting some contoured rip lines for tree planting into, retain moisture by a little effort and have a good season with good grass and plant growth.
Hope it continues to heal itself. It is great to see your soil erosion being corrected because it is occurring in lots of places and most people couldn’t care less.
Fantastic to see a lo-fi (but well considered and implemented approach to arresting erosion. I’ll be interested to see how it continues to develop and heal. On our property we have some significant eroded and erosive areas, so always on the lookout for approaches such as this to trial.
Great to see water restoration works in action. Well done guys.
Very, very impressive. What a difference a contour can make!
Great project Kirsten and good to see folk dealing with the erosion issue. We have many irrigated horticulture enterprises in this hilly area and it’s heartbreaking to see the gully erosion in our beautiful landscape. As most are for-profit enterprises, putting in adequate drainage, let alone working with contours, is something that many don’t want to spend money on.
Always good to see what is achievable with very limited expenditure! 🙂
Hi Kirsten, What trees are those?
What a change! Eden here you come!
are those riplines from a yeomans? I did this to our orchard in dec 2012 and the absence of rain since that time means the riplines have actually dried out more than they might have otherwise. Its great technology if you have some rain to manage.
well done 😉