Reef Aid

Remediating gullies at Footes Hill Station

On the traditional country of the Wulgurukaba and Bindal people, this project was situated at Footes Hill Station, at the confluence of the Reid and Haughton rivers. Greening Australia remediated four gully complexes on the property, saving 2,180 tonnes of fine sediment from entering the Great Barrier Reef each year.

The Challenge

Footes Hill station had not been as heavily cleared as other properties in the district; good stands of Ironbark and Corymbia woodland remained across the property. However, under previous management, some erosion gully areas developed above the Haughton River. There had also been a change in the vegetation with native shrubs and grasses being replaced by exotic plants such as Chinee apple and Rubber Vine.

The gullies on Footes Hill Station were identified in 2018 as having good potential for saving sediment from entering the Great Barrier Reef. After initial investigations, it was estimated that these gullies were losing over 2,000 tonnes of sediment annually, with this sediment flowing straight into the Haughton River and out into the Great Barrier Reef.


The Solution

In 2019, on-ground remediation of the Western, Central and Alluvial gully complexes were completed. These works included the construction of three overland flow diversion bunds, head cut and gully reshaping, the construction of rock chutes, and six hectares of revegetation with pasture grasses.

In addition to the on-ground remediation works, a new fence was established to allow the landholders to better manage grazing of the remediated sites. In this newly established paddock, 30 ha of exotic weeds such as Chinee apple and rubber vine were also removed.

After the works were complete the sites were regularly monitored and surveyed to track the success of the remediation works. A control gully with no treatment was also monitored to confirm that gully restoration works did make an improvement.

In 2021, the control gully was remediated using the same method as employed for the Western, Central and Alluvial gully complexes, along with improved grazing management and weed control.



Remediation of the Footes Hill site has saved 1,625 tonnes of sediment at the original site, and 555 tonnes at the control site, for a total of 2,180 tonnes annually stopped from reaching the Great Barrier Reef. Ongoing weed management at Footes Hill encouraged areas of natural recruitment, and, despite some issues early on with grazing management, ground cover established well across the sites.

This project is part of Greening Australia’s Reef Aid program, and funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust. For more information, please feel free to send us an online query.

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