Why wetlands are so important to the whole ecological system.
Wetlands are a giant water based filtration system that control rain run off whilst extracting sediments, recycling nutrients and oxygenating the water. Only 2% of
The history of the Tahbilk Wetlands.
With the construction of the Goulburn Weir in 1889, the various stages of Sugar Loaf Dam in 1915, and Lake Eildon completed in 1956, the historical flow regime of the Goulburn river was changed, from one of high flows in winter to one of a permanently flowing summer irrigation stream. Previously the river and its associated billabongs had periodically dried back into a series of water holes. Indeed the local indigenous people knew this area as “tabilk tabilk”, or the place of many waterholes, thus giving the property, Tahbilk, its name. The present Tahbilk wetlands area was created with the raising of the water level at the time that the Goulburn Weir was built.
The Tahbilk wetlands are an open ended or self flushing wetlands being joined to the Goulburn at both ends. With its slow moving and warmer water, the Tahbilk wetlands have become a safe haven for a vast array of indigenous flora and fauna. At least two threatened or endangered species are making the Tahbilk wetlands their home. The native cat fish (Tandanus tandanus) which is declining through out the Murray Darling Basin is now breeding in the wetlands and the Water Shield Lily (Brasenia schreberi), which incidentally is unique to Victoria, is also thriving in the Tahbilk wetlands.
The preservation of the environment has always been a priority of the Tahbilk Estate. The Purbick family, who have been custodians of the property for five generations, were amongst the first to institute an integrated pest management and a whole farm plan. Long before it became fashionable to plant trees, Tahbilk Estate was planting local igneous trees and shrubs to form inter connecting wild life corridors to allow the free passage of animals, birds and insects across the Estate.
Tahbilk Estate, in partnership with various Government agencies including the Dept of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA), The Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), and The Goulburn Broken Indigenous Seedbank (GBIS), are running a number of environmental rehabilitation programmes. These include an ongoing pest plant and animal eradication programme, an indigenous flora and fauna identifying programme, and the monitoring of the water quality by measuring the turbidity, (water clarity), salt content (EC), dissolved oxygen content (DO), and water temperature. In addition to these, and other projects, Tahbilk Estate and Seedbank have established a trial site for the production of local indigenous seeds for revegetation projects throughout the Longwood Plains area. Projects in the pipe line include the redesign of the Tahbilk wetlands outfall to allow for the more effective passage of fish between The Wetlands billabongs and the Goulburn River.
It is interesting to note that the existence of the wetlands and the associated waterways, has created a particular meso-climate that has enabled Tahbilk Estate to produce a range of superb, and unique varietal wines.
Tahbilk Estate is justifiably proud of the Tahbilk Wetlands and Wild Life Reserve which has been designed as a living, breathing educational tool to be enjoyed and easily accessed by everyone.