Ararat Rural City Council has helped fund the upgrade of a road through Walkers Swamp, which has been restored to its natural state through a joint project led by the Nature Glenelg Trust.
Walkers Swamp, located in the Ararat Rural City municipality south west of Willaura, has been restored to its natural state over five years through a joint project between the Nature Glenelg Trust (NGT), Glenelg Hopkins CMA, the Hamilton Field Naturalists Club and community philanthropic contributions.
Ararat Rural City CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the Council helped fund the upgrade of Lynchs Crossing Road, which runs through the swamp and allows visitors access to view the abundant flora and fauna that has returned to the swamp.
Dr Harrison said the Council was pleased to contribute $10,000 towards the cost of upgrading the road, which had to be raised and culverts installed to enable natural water flows under the road.
“Ararat Rural City Council takes an active interest in any projects that improve the natural environment for current and future generations and this is especially relevant when that project is within our municipality,” he said.
“Council congratulates the project partners for their hard work in restoring Walkers Swamp. The upgrade to Lynch’s Crossing Road provides ongoing benefits for the region’s community and as such Council was pleased to support these works.”
NGT Senior Ecologist Dr Greg Kerr said the restoration project saw the purchase of the land around the swamp and the development of the NGT’s first wetland reserve in Victoria.
Dr Kerr said the swamp, a 4.5km2 floodplain within the Wannon River delta wetland complex, was drained decades ago in attempts to use the floodplain for agricultural purposes, and more recently, plantation forestry.
He said work to restore Walker Swamp has included improvements to inundation patterns, wetland vegetation and biodiversity values by reversing the artificial drainage and removing the legacies of 150 years of grazing and 15 years of blue gum plantations.