Regional Estuaries initiative

The Regional Estuaries Initiative is a four-year, $20 million Royalties for Regions funded program to improve the health of six Western Australian estuaries being delivered in partnership with the Department of Water. One of those six is the estuary located at the Blackwood River mouth, the Hardy Inlet at Augusta. Lower Blackwood Landcare is working in partnership with local agencies to deliver projects including a range of on-ground works, soil testing and nutrient mapping, fencing, revegetation and drainage as well as new science and modelling, regional capacity, employment and training.

2018/19 REI Soil Testing Program NOW OPEN!


Farmers to benefit from latest soil testing opportunity

Expressions of interest are now open to take part in a soil testing program to support farmers’ fertiliser decisions.

The Lower Blackwood LCDC will be providing on ground support for farmers in their catchment interested in understanding their fertiliser needs to save money, maximise pasture growth and prevent excess nutrients from being washed into waterways.

As a part of the program, grazing farmers in the Hardy Inlet (Lower Blackwood) Catchment will have access to pasture tissue testing, soil testing across their whole farm and nutrient maps showing nutrient surplus and deficiency.

Testing is combined with local workshops to learn how to use nutrient maps and access to personalised, one-on-one agronomic advice with an accredited advisor.

Brad Noakes, dairy farmer from Forest Grove was involved in the 2017 soil testing program.

“The soil testing program was great value for us and the whole farm nutrient map provided us with the information we needed to help with the planning of our fertiliser programs.  It’s been a good program to be involved in and I’d recommend it to all farmers in the catchment”.

The program has been running for over nine years and has shown that more than 70 per cent of the 14,000 paddocks tested have phosphorus levels higher than needed for maximum pasture growth.  The excess application of phosphorus not only affects farmers’ bottom line but is an issue for the water quality of waterways and estuaries in the south west.

The program includes financial incentives with farmers receiving testing valued up to $5000 and additional advice and support to tailor their fertiliser programs.

Graziers located in the Hardy Inlet (Lower Blackwood) catchment with more than 40 hectares of cleared arable land are encouraged to apply in the 2018 soil testing program.   

The program is being run by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and is part of the $20 million State Government’s Regional Estuaries Initiative

For more information contact Jo Wren at the Lower Blackwood LCDC on (08) 97584 021 or 0408 584 006 or email

To register your interest please go to  

Raising Capability

"Raising Capability" is a two year project funded by the State NRM Program and Royalties for Regions. This project is made up of a series of components to lift the abilities and resources of the Lower Blackwood Landcare group.

It includes:

  • Soil health, Weed and Pest Management Workshops
  • Improved online communications and resources
  • Community attribute research project (supported by Curtin University Sustainable Policy Unit) to investigate the Environmental, Social and Economic values of the district
  • Governance review and training for the organisation

Biodiversity linkages

“Biodiversity Linkages” is an initiative funded by the South West Catchments Council, for the next 2 years. The aim of the project is to address key threats to the environmental values of the Lower Blackwood River, including habitat connectivity and improving water quality.

This project targets:

  • fencing key creek lines
  • creating stock crossings and watering troughs
  • stabilising and revegetating creek lines

Plantations to pasture

Through funding from the State NRM office, this project is looking at exploring soil qualities and potential changes when transitioning from plantation timber to pasture. The project will explore the different methods local farmers are undertaking this landuse change, in order to establish productive pastures while using efficient nutrient inputs. A report and workshop is planned to present results in May 2017.


    Get involved

    Did any of these projects catch your interest?

    Do you have a farm in the area, and interested in making improvements to your natural assets?

    Do you want to learn more about any of the topics above?

    Call us on 0408 584 006 for a chat over the phone,  or drop an email to 


    We'd love to hear from you!