Looking after the Cudgegong River!

Published 28th April 2022. Written by Maddison O’Brien

The health of our rivers has been front of mind for many, with widespread floods causing erosion and more fish kills in the Darling River making headlines in recent weeks. These events make clear the importance of initiatives to restore and regenerate our waterways. The Mid-Western Regional Council (MWRC) is undertaking a fantastic project to do just that! The MWRC Cudgegong River Rehabilitation Program is focused on improving river health, managing erosion, and raising awareness about the importance of our fragile riparian ecosystems.

The MWRC Cudgegong River Rehabilitation Program received funding from the Australian Government as part of their Murray­­–Darling Healthy Rivers Program. With the grant, a project plan has been created to regenerate land along the Cudgegong River and Lawsons Creek at Glen Willow Sporting Complex. The project also outlines plans to work with selected landholders to improve the condition of riparian zones on their private property.

A panel was formed in partnership with Local Land Services and Watershed Landcare, and 15 landholders spanning from Rylstone to Yarrabin have been engaged to join the program. Each landholder has a unique plan specific to the issues at hand on their properties. With assistance from MWRC and some contractors, landholders will undertake weed control, stock exclusion fencing, establishing an off-river water supply, and installing nest boxes and native plantings. After the project, 6.5km of the river will be fenced, and 33ha of riparian zone will be rehabilitated with weed control and 4,700 native plants. The native plants for this project have been grown locally at the Watershed Landcare Nursery.

One of the exciting parts of this project is the community planting days that MWRC has planned. Over three days, school kids and community groups will get a chance to get their hands dirty and make a difference by planting some native plants at Glen Willow. On 13th May, the community is invited to come to Glen Willow from 8 am until 12 noon to lend a hand in planting some 1,500 plants that will help regenerate the Cudgegong River. There will be a free sausage sizzle, and all are welcome to come and participate in a fun morning out on the river. Watershed Landcare volunteers will assist with planting and ensuring these precious little plants have the best start to create a beautiful, healthy landscape for all to enjoy.

These community planting days will cover 1.8km of river frontage. Some educational signs will also be added to the riparian zones to help people grow their knowledge and respect for the Cudgegong River. Get excited about this event, and we hope to see you there on 13th May for the community planting day! For more info, visit midwestern.nsw.gov.au.