Case Study: Tathra Fire Recovery
Client: Bega Valley Shire Council
Date: September 2019
Location: Tathra, NSW
In March 2018, the coastal town of Tathra (Southern NSW) was impacted by Fire. The fire, understood to have been caused by a failure in electrical infrastructure burned through over 1,250 hectares of farmland and forest reserves before impacting into the town. The impact fire can have on soils in the short term is the reduction of vegetation cover which increases soil erosion risk. This likely leads to ash and sediment moving into waterways.
SureGro TreeMax offered technical and installation guidance to the NSW Local Land Services and the Bega Valley Shire. Numerous solutions were considered in providing a range of erosion control materials. Products such as Jute Mesh, and several sediment control products which consisted of Coir Logs and Siltworms were installed. These biodegradable products are designed to allow natural revegetation to occur while reducing the velocity of water flow across the unprotected and exposed top soil. In a natural environment, it’s important that introduced products can be left insitu to biodegrade with no ill effects to the surroundings.
The Jute Mesh allowed any native seeds to become trapped between the mesh appertures which in turn assisted with the natural germination of the seeds. After 18 months the mesh is still intact this allowed native seeds to become trapped between the mesh apertures which in turn assisted with the natural revegetation process.
18 Months on and its quite clear that areas that have been covered with Jute mesh are outperforming areas without. These zones have successfully stabilised the soil and encouraged natural regeneration and the material is now starting to biodegrade
“There is a combination of Jute Mesh Soil Saver and Hydroseeding to keep soils in place and regrowing,” Shannon said. “We have also installed Coir Logs (Coconut Rolls) and Siltworms (Hessian Socks filled with Rice Hulls) to prevent sediment movement. This way we know the materials are safe and effective,” Shannon Brennan – Local Land Services Senior Officer.
JUTE MESH – SOIL SAVER
Ideal for areas where ‘natural revegetation’ is being encouraged, such as sand dunes. It can be used in conjunction with local brush and twigs to help in the capture of soil and seed, preventing soil erosion.
CoirLogs provide protection while vegetation establishes and takes over the long term stabilisation. CoirLogs are an environmentally friendly alternative to hay bales.