Revegetate to help save inlet

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Kean Sugden and his partner Jasmine Tothill(pictured) planted more than 4,000 seedlings in their farm in Scotsdale to improve the quality of Wilson Inlet catchment.
Camera IconKean Sugden and his partner Jasmine Tothill(pictured) planted more than 4,000 seedlings in their farm in Scotsdale to improve the quality of Wilson Inlet catchment. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

When Jasmine Tothill and her partner Kean Sugden acquired their property in Scotsdale, they never thought they could help rehabilitate the Wilson Inlet by revegetating some of their land.

The couple have planted more than 4000 native seedlings on their 50-acre property, with their efforts reducing excess nutrients reaching the inlet in Denmark.

Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee executive officer Shaun Ossinger said the inlet had been struggling with excess nutrients such as phosphorous from local agricultural activities and had been identified as one of six WA estuaries in critical need of assistance.

Since 2009, the committee has tried to engage farmers in the area to help save the inlet.

“In order to reduce the amount of nutrients reaching the inlet it is essential to minimise the application of fertiliser that each paddock needs through soil testing and education of farmers,” he said.

“Another proven beneficial practice is revegetating areas adjacent to these waterways by planting native seedlings to bind soil and strip nutrients before they can enter our creeks, rivers and drains.”

Ms Tothill said from the moment she bought the property she had wanted to plant some native flora to rehabilitate the land. She was grateful to receive a helping hand from the committee. “We heard that you can apply for grants to revegetate your land when you’ve got waterways on your property that connect to the inlet,” she said.

“It took the two of us almost two months to plant all the seedlings. We only do it over the weekend because we work full-time.”

The couple planted native vegetation such as karri, marri and wattle, giving up four acres of their grazing area. Ms Tothill said she would encourage other residents to join the initiative and help improve the health of their local inlet.

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