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By the River Walgett event saved the best till last

The recent Walgett “By the River” twilight field day examined the principles of catchments in understanding water and its importance in agricultural, ecological and cultural contexts.

The event provided a hands-on look at how catchments function and what that means in Walgett.

The field day was the highlight of a series of nine events run from October to November across the region by North West Local Land Services (LLS) and funded by Catchment Action NSW.

Col Easton from North West LLS said “The group tested water samples collected themselves from around Walgett. They compared test results with samples from other areas and data publicly available on-line.

"The group found that water coming from Warialda was found to be very different to water coming from Tamworth which was seen to be different again from water coming from Queensland.

"By mapping data such as flow and salinity the group learnt a great deal about how geology and appropriate landuse play a critical part in water quality and catchment health.”

Mr Easton also said “In Walgett we have wonderful soil which is enhanced by depositional flood waters. Most of our industries, ecosystems and cultural heritage are reliant on the nature of our soil and water.

"We also talked about the old paddle steamers which once ran all the way to Walgett, traditional Kamilaroi life and the role of the giant River Red Gums in the landscape. A highlight was visiting Simon Logan’s place at the Barwon and Namoi junction.

"During the evening we spotted a range of beneficial animals found there. Tree hollow dependant micro-bats are common in the area. To the benefit of farmers, micro-bats eat half their body weight every night in small insects which otherwise threaten local crops."

More than 150 people have participated across nine events in the series run from Warialda to Quipolly and Gunnedah to Walgett. Field days have showcased topics including catchments, riverine systems, weeds, native tree and shrub identification, and biodiversity.

For more information about catchment principles and the values of biodiversity contact Col Easton from North West LLS on 02 6764 5940.

Caption: Water testing on the Namoi at the Walgett by the River field Day. (Left to Right) Lyndon Richardson and Leanne Young with “Pav” Bhawna, pH testing a sample and Mick Woodham discuss water salinity with Col Easton from North West LLS.

Caption: Little Pied bats are common in the Walgett area. They eat half their body weight per night in small insects.

ENDS

Media contact: Col Easton, phone: 6764 5940, and Email: col.easton@lls.nsw.gov.au