• The Upper Torrens Land Management Project

    Since our inception by the Upper River Torrens Landcare Group in partnership with The Barossa Council in 1998, over 250 landowners have participated to improve their properties and income. The UTLMP has assisted them to address issues such as: soil erosion, salinity and acidity, pasture establishment and/or improvement, fencing for dams and watercourses, re-vegetation with native trees and shrubs, weed control, pest animal control, over stocking, stock exclusion, protection of native flora and fauna, creation of habitat for birds and native animals, and the maintenance of creeks and watercourses.


    The UTLMP offered technical expertise and possible financial incentive for both property planning, water infrastructure and on-ground works, including soil and pasture improvement, re-vegetation, fencing and farm forestry to all landholders in the Upper Torrens Catchment.

    The end of an ERA – Upper Torrens Land Management Project 1998-2017 - a Summary of Achievements

    June 2017 saw the end of an era in the upper Torrens catchment with the Upper Torrens Land Management Project (UTLMP) coming to an end. For the past 19 years, the UTLMP has provided the community with a whole range of programs to support properties and landholders to improve their productivity whilst having good environmental outcomes.


    The UTLMP has operated as a Section 41 Committee of The Barossa Council (TBC), which together with the Adelaide Hills Council and community representatives has provided the community based project with governance and financial management. During the 19 years in operation, the UTLMP has assisted property owners to fence off watercourses, fence to land class, undertake revegetation activities, install water infrastructure, improve pastures and undertake property planning. The Project has also initiated and facilitated learning/education sessions in all areas associated with farm management including bushfire preparation and planning.


    The UTLMP has developed partnerships with the Native Grass Resources Group Inc, the Barossa Bushgardens, Trees For Life and Conservation Volunteers to mutual advantage, whilst maintaining a strong relationship with staff of the State Government Departments responsible for natural resource management in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges.


    Since its inception, the UTLMP has received in excess of $4 million from Federal and State governments to improve upper Torrens private and public properties. This income translates to over $10 million (including landholder contributions) that has been invested in on-ground works. More than half the 20,000 Ha’s of land within the project boundaries have been improved by direct involvement with the UTLMP.


    The largest and most recent grant from the Commonwealth Government’s Biodiversity Fund was for $1.5m for the Grassy Groundcover Restoration Project (GGRP). This project has successfully restored over 200 Ha of degraded farmland to increase species diversity in grassy woodlands in the upper Torrens. Following the completion of the GGRP, a not-for-profit incorporated body called Seeding Natives Inc, has now been formed to continue propagation and establishment of native grasslands in South Australia.


    Demonstrating the success of the project, its staff and participants, have been the recipient of a number of awards including:

    2015- Finalist - South Australian Winner of the Australian Government Local Landcare Facilitator/Coordinator Award

    2013 - South Australian Winner of the Australian Government Local Landcare Facilitator/Coordinator Award

    2011 - South Australian Winner of the Australian Government Local Government Landcare Partnership Award - The Barossa Council and Adelaide Hills Council
    2010 - South Australian Winner of the Australian Government Local Landcare Facilitator/Coordinator Award
    2009 - Finalist - State Landcare Community Group Award
    2008 - Finalist National Landcare Awards Alcoa Community Group Award
    2007 - State Winner - Alcoa Landcare Community Group Award
    2004 - Finalist - National Landcare Awards Sensis Landcare Catchment Award


    Since 2004, the UTLMP has provided a link for the return of NRM levies collected by the Councils, through its collaborative partnerships with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management. Moving forward, NRM delivery will continue as it has in the past with the District Officer continuing to be hosted by The Barossa Council and maintaining its presence in the Mt Pleasant Natural Resource Centre.


    If you have any NRM issues, questions or wish to be involved in the local Landcare group, please call or email Kim Thompson on 0438639353 or kthompson@barossa.sa.gov.au.


    For further information about Seeding Natives Inc., visit www.seedingnatives.org.au, email Andrew Fairney Andrew@seedingnatives.org.au or phone 0477307577.