Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation (WOPR)
Over the next two years Greening Australia’s innovative ‘Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation’ (WOPR) program will restore 1,000 hectares across the Capital Region and in Southern WA.
Support from Caring for Our Country will focus our efforts on endangered grassy box gum woodland communities in the upper and mid Lachlan and Murrumbidgee catchments.
What is WOPR?
WOPR is an innovative approach to environmental restoration that genuinely incorporates production and conservation goals. Under the program, graziers volunteer a paddock of at least 10 ha for restoration. Graziers receive the support of stewardship payments to offset some of the production loss.
Each paddock is rested from production for five years and locally native trees and shrubs are established by direct seeding. Trees are established in widely-spaced belts on the contour returning around 25% of the paddock to deep-rooted perennial vegetation.
Landholders sign up to a five year management agreement and after five years, the grazier can reintroduce stock to the paddock under a rotational grazing system.
Key features of WOPR
- 5–10 year management agreements to utilise entire paddocks for tree and shrub establishment on areas/paddocks exceeding 10ha
- Incentives to establish widely-spaced direct seeding belts and patches
- A 5 year revegetation period accompanied by a a stewardship payment to partly offset interim production losses
- Rotational grazing for the remaining 5 yrs
The first WOPR site was established by a landholder near Yass in 1994. Since then Greening Australia has established a further 22 sites with landholders, rehabilitating 493 hectares across south east NSW.
The key benefits of this scheme include:
- Biodiversity reintroduction;
- Carbon sequestration; and
- Salinity and erosion control.
All of which can be achieved with little or no fencing costs.
The production outcomes of WOPR include the return of groundcover and productive native perennial pastures.
Many of the early adopters in the scheme claim shade and shelter, reduced wind speed, and creation of a lambing and ‘off-shears’ paddock as their WOPR motivation.
Seed pods and foliage from wattles can provide fodder, and soils are improved through increased nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling.
Previous WOPR Activity
Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation field day
The Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation (WOPR) field day was a big success. Held at ‘Weilora’ in Binalong NSW, the day attracted 65 people, including 40 landholders.
Leon Garry, “Weilora” Landholder, explained to the group on arrival that 2010 marked the 20th anniversary that Greening Australia had been coming to his property and helping deal with land management problems such as salinity.
Sue Streatfield and Graham Fifield from the Capital Region office, explained the genesis of WOPR and the group then visited four of the sites in various locations on the property – all with vegetation thriving!!
Lots of questions were asked and lots of discussion around conservation and production issues were covered with discussions ranging from managing salinity through to bringing birds back. Lots of positive comments were received from farmers and government agency representatives including Garry Reynolds - Caring for our Country National Coordinator - Business and Industry, who sent an email “Really enjoyed the day at Weilora - the people I met, the great results and the things that have been learned.”
How can you be involved?
The regional WOPR program is kicking off in May 2011. Pilot programs can be established further afield.
We are seeking expressions of interest from:
- Interested landholders wishing to restore paddocks; and
- Project partners keen to support the program.
For further information on how you can get involved contact :
Graham Fifield (02) 6253 3035 or email
WOPR and Whole of Paddock Rehabilitation are both trademarks (™) of Greening Australia.