This workshop held at the Rye Park Memorial Hall and local properties in May 2014, was one of three held in the Lachlan catchment.

Craig Sponholtz, a designer builder and teacher of land restoration and erosion control techniques from the USA, was invited back after 2 popular workshops in 2013, including one at Frogmore.

Funding support came from LLS South East, through LachLandcare and the Regional Landcare Facilitator Program. Tea breaks and lunch were provided by the Rye Park Hall Community Group.

The Craig’s workshops focus on passive water harvesting, erosion control and stream restoration practices, using techniques that harness natural hydrology to self-repair riparian zones and watersheds. The program for the day was adapted to suit the unpredictable and inclement weather. The initial session was indoors, followed by a field visit to a local property, followed by a final indoor session as the weather closed in. Some key points from the workshop were:

  • Good land management is the first step to controlling erosion.
  • Degradation of a catchment, is the cumulative effect of the management decisions taken by every landholder within the catchment.
  • Erosion is something that the average farmer can repair themselves with the materials available on their farm once they have a basic knowledge of the symptoms and causes of landscape degradation and how nature heals itself.
  • A focus on management practices that prevent erosion in the first place is better than having to cure erosion as a result of detrimental management practices.

Feedback from the 24 local landholders who attended was very positive. They would like to have follow up, practical land restoration sessions to implement the techniques learnt during the workshop. Landholders were keen to implement on ground action on their own properties.

The Rye Park Workshop was organised by Boorowa based Landcare Support Officer, Heather McLeod.

The notes on the following website have been provided by Dryland Solutions Inc (USA) and Watershed Landcare at Mudgee.