The recovery of vegetation at Levi Springs following fencing of the area by FOMS volunteers in 2019

As reported in previous newsletters, twelve of the fourteen springs at Levi Springs, on the Peake Pastoral Lease, were fenced by FOMS volunteers in July 2019. About 2.3km of fencing was erected and FOMS has revisited Levi Springs each year since then to ensure the fencing remains in good condition. FOMS also established a series of photopoints to monitor vegetation condition and these have been repeated each year.

FOMS volunteers visited Levi Springs as part of the June 2022 working bee. The fencing remained in good condition and it is worth noting that, in the initial construction of the fence, care was taken to ensure good separation between the fence and the springs.

Experience elsewhere has shown that fencing in the immediate vicinity of springs – such as across spring tails – can lead to significant pressure by cattle upon the fence and occasionally intrusion of cattle through the fence.

As illustrated in the accompanying photographs, spring vegetation has responded strongly following the fencing. Equally noteworthy is the regrowth of associated dryland vegetation – also noticeable in the photos – reflecting both the exclusion of grazing pressure and the good rains in recent times.

Spring at Levi, showing severe cattle impacts prior to fencing (left, 2019) and rapid recovery of vegetation (right, 2022)
Coolabah spring at Levi, at time of fencing (left) and in June 2022 (right)