Trudi Refshauge’s property at Wyangala, in Central West New South Wales, was once described as a “moonscape”, nonetheless today it’s a refuge for birds, reptiles and insects.
- Trudi Refshauge’s dam at Wyangala is now a “native wonderland”
- ANU research shows healthy dams lead to an increase livestock weight gain
- Most farm dams exceed the safe water consumption threshold for animals
The transformation began with the Sustainable Farms undertaking race by the Australian National College, which looked into the far-reaching benefits of bettering the biodiversity around dams on farms.
Ms Refshauge fenced off the livestock, planted an array of native timber, shrubs and reeds, and built an island for frogs in the center of the dam.
“Or not it’s a native wonderland and nature has taken care of a lot of it,” Ms Refshauge said.
“We now have obtained the most beautiful local eucalyptus timber, microscopic native birds are nesting around it, we now have obtained turtles in the dam and even native geese.”
Dam correct for backside line
Barred from scream access, the livestock drink from a trough fed by the dam.
Ms Refshauge said the stocking rate on the farm had increased since the improvements had been made.
“The cattle fabricate not thoughts,” she said.
ANU research ecologist Benjamin Scheele said the scant existing research showed “higher quality water has about an 11 per cent abet in phrases of weight gain”.
He said the impress abet factor ranged from 1.5 to a few, which meant the investment in infrastructure to fence off and trough from a water provide would pay off at the market internal a few years.
“Farm dams play a vital role in our ecosystem across farmland,” Dr Scheele said.
To revive a dam, Dr Scheele says, livestock access should be restricted to decrease the amount of animal waste washed into the water.
That allows vegetation to establish itself on the surrounding walls and filter out material as it gets washed in.
“You fetch distinguished clearer and less salty water, nonetheless also levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the dams that are fenced are distinguished decrease,” Dr Scheele said.