action-story | 10th May, 2016

Winchelsea Primary School

Winchelsea Primary School students Stephanie Lubke, Bridie Stocks and Jake Tucker are smiling. Along with the rest of their classmates, today their teachers have allowed them out of the classroom to help revegetate the banks of the Barwon River, at Winchelsea Bridge.

ActionStory_Winchelsea Primary School hero_0Teacher Margaret Earl says the primary school regularly assists the Barwon Rivercare Group by providing keen hands to plant trees. “The children really enjoy the day; it’s a great way for them to get involved.”

The area the children are planting today was once covered in willows, gorse and blackberries. Matt Hamilton of Surf Coast Shire has been working with Landcare and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority to eradicate the weeds, which were choking the stream.

To protect the banks from erosion, the students are planting 1200 indigenous plant species, including tussock grass, prickly moses, black wattle and tree violet.

The trees and shrubs the children have planted today will stabilize the banks of the river and provide habitat for birds. Across the river, volunteers from Conservation Volunteers Australia have also restored a steeply eroded bank.

Landcare and Surf Coast Shire are restoring degraded sections of the river to prevent erosion, improve water quality and provide places for people to enjoy the river.

Jake Tucker says he likes going down to the river to watch the current. “I like just watching the way it moves, it makes me feel happy.”

Stephanie Lubke is lucky enough to live right next to the Barwon. “I like going fishing and watching the birds and ducks. We even see platypus in the river.” She says she looks forward to coming back to this section of the river in few years to see what it looks like.