The landmark purchase of the 192-hectare Walker Swamp Reserve has been celebrated by partners and the community as a major step towards protecting the critically endangered wetlands in the Grampians. The reserve will permanently protect this important link in the large wetland system on the Wannon River Floodplain.

The purchase was made possible by a unique large-scale collaboration between Nature Glenelg Trust, Glenelg Hopkins CMA, AGL Energy and the Hamilton Field Naturalists Club. Through crowd funding co-ordinated by Nature Glenelg Trust has doubled the size of the reserve by successfully purchasing the adjacent flood plain. The project has attracted great interest from the local community, with over 100 people celebrating Walker Swamp on World Rivers Day.

Work to date to protect the Grampians wetlands includes:

  • On-ground restoration works, with 90 hectares of earth levelling works completed.
  • 32,841 hectares of pest animal control. The Grampians Ark Fox Baiting Program is continuing to protect waterbirds – particularly nesting brolgas – and small mammals in the wetlands.
  • 430 hectares of wetlands protected by landholders through the Wetland Defence Program.
  • Six one-day Farmplan21 workshops have been held, with 12 landholders attending. The workshops gave farmers the knowledge and skills needed to make sustainable land management decisions.

Reeds emerging out of Walker Swamp

Walker Swamp in the Southern Grampians region of Victoria. Photo credit: Glenelg Hopkins CMA.

The Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation and Martang Pty Ltd are involved in the ongoing cultural management of the wetlands of the Greater Grampians. A series of ‘Water and Country’ events involving Traditional Owners included tours of the Budj Bim landscape, a children’s school holiday program and an Aboriginal art competition and exhibition. The events promoted the unique wetlands and their biodiversity and cultural values to the community.

Watch video of the wetlands restoration.

Partners

Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Nature Glenelg Trust, Trust for Nature, Hamilton Field Naturalists Club, Panyyabyr Landcare Network, AGL Energy, Martang Pty Ltd, Parks Victoria, Agriculture Victoria, Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning and the Australian Government.

Below: Tony Lithgow (Glenelg Hopkins Regional Landcare Coordinator) with Panyyabyr Landcare Group members Sean and Lisa McIntyre, and Craig Oliver. Photo credit: Glenelg Hopkins CMA.

Landcare coordinators standing on dirt road
This program (the Grampians Ark Fox Baiting Program) supports all the other Landcare work we have achieved. It helps protect the critters we are encouraging to live within our predominantly farming-based ecosystem, through our revegetation, waterways and land protection.
Dr Michelle Casanova, ecologist, wetland botanist and farmer

Page last updated: 28/06/19