Help for land owners in Northern New South Wales

As heavy downpour after heavy downpour continued to bring the sheer 20ft drop to the creek on Ian Crawter’s property ever closer to his dairy shed, he was looking for any help he could get.


“I have to admit, I was sceptical as to what anyone was able to do to help.”


Ian Crawter, Landholder & Dairy Farmer, Upper Richmond, Nr. Kyogle


When Conservation Volunteers Australia first met landholder and dairy farmer Ian Crawter in 2019, there were many issues that needed resolving on his property, leaving it open to the risk of weed infestation, erosion and flooding.

Deep structural issues inside the creek related to a degraded river system and lack of riparian vegetation, as well as problems arising due to the livestock trampling the river lines and causing further structural damage, meant the situation was becoming urgent.

Farmers want as much clear space as possible for their livestock and crops, including feed crops. But the problem arises when the land is cleared and then not replanted soon enough to prevent a full-blown weed invasion making the most of the sun-drenched, empty ground.

Part of our work with landholders has focused on helping farmers get the knowledge they need to prevent these situations, including delivering crucial information on the importance of fencing livestock away from the river (providing sufficient water troughs instead) to avoid trampling and degradation.

Among the many cutting-edge scientific methodologies used are instream structural engineering works that deflect and slow the velocity of water passing through a river bed, revealing the journey of the fast-flowing water which scours out the earth underneath the riverbank leading to, you guessed it, bank collapse.

All of the work that’s been carried out by Conservation Volunteers Australia, Local Land Services, BRRVLN Landcare Group, Soil Conservation Service, and local Aboriginal owners have aligned with current thinking around sustainable best practice, including trials of three distinct pasture management techniques:

1. Soil mapping
2. Variable rate fertilizer trials
2. Multi-species pasture trials
3. Nutrient mapping
4. Dung beetles

“The dairy shed which was a major concern because of the erosion in that area. The work CVA have helped to achieve has done a great job of straightening up the creek line, we’re really happy.”

Ian Crawter, Landholder & Dairy Farmer, Upper Richmond, Nr. Kyogle


Are you a land owner in the Northern Rivers needing help with your property management issues or looking for more information? Please contact North Coast Local Land Services.

Wild Futures