Celebrating wetland champions in the Murray region – Bill and Cecily’s Farm

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In 2017, students from St. Columba’s Catholic School in Berrigan, NSW, spent the day with Bill and Cecily Nixon to learn about their involvement in the Murray Wetland Carbon Storage Project. The students spent time with the Nixon’s to find out about them and what makes their wetland special.

The story was then developed into a book ‘Bill and Cecily’s Farm’ through the Creative Catchment Kids program (pdf can be accessed here), with support from Murray Local Land Services and the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd. and funding from the Australian Government.

“Bill and Cecily live on a farm approximately 15 minutes’ drive from Berrigan in NSW. They have a very large farm and have lots of animals and crops. The farm is very unique because there is a wetland on a part of their farm. This wetland has become a protected area for the conservation of wildlife.”

Bill and Cecily Nixon at their wetland (Photo credit: Simon Dallinger)

Bill and Cecily Nixon became involved in the Murray Wetland Carbon Storage Project in 2013 when they expressed an interest in rehabilitating their wetland to improve carbon storage and biodiversity. Their 8 hectare wetland is surrounded by cropping and grazing, although sections of fringing vegetation remain.

“Bill has lived on the farm all of his life. Bill decided to stay on the farm when his parents moved into town. The house that they live in is over 100 years old. Bill and Cecily have two sons Tom and Stan; they are both living away from home now. They also have two dogs; one is a stay at home dog named Miley and the other is a working dog.”

Bill and Miley (Photo credit: Owen Dunlop, Petaurus Education Group)

Through the Project, the Nixon’s wetland was fenced, with new gates enabling easier access and stock management.

“On Bill and Cecily’s farm they have been given funding to look after and preserve the wetland. Their family business has also contributed a lot of energy and time into saving and restoring the wetland. They have fenced off the area so that cattle can’t damage the land. This has allowed many different animals to come and call the wetlands their home including brolgas and wood ducks. We all hope to come and see the wetland flourish over the coming years.”

Bill and Cecily Nixon have fenced off their wetland to improve stock managament (Photo credit: Simon Dallinger)

Students from St. Columba’s Catholic School, Berrigan at Bill and Cecily’s wetland (Photo credit: Owen Dunlop, Petaurus Education Group)

The Nixon’s were keen to see an increase in vegetation and bird life at their wetland, and to develop a better appreciation of their wetland. “We want to better manage the area to encourage native vegetation growth and to bring woodland and wetland birds back to the site” said Cecily. “We are thrilled to be part of the project and can’t wait to see changes to the vegetation and wildlife use of the wetland area.” said Cecily.

Bill & Cecily are just one of many landholders who took part in the Murray Wetland Carbon Storage Project, which enhanced the biodiversity and carbon storage of 3700 ha of wetlands across the Murray region through on-ground incentive programs with landholders and community groups.

Bill and Cecily with students from St. Columba’s Catholic School, Berrigan (Photo credit: Owen Dunlop, Petaurus Education Group)

For more information, please contact:

Susanne Watkins
Murray Local Land Services
1300 795 299

Our address

Savernake (NSW)
-35.8259371, 145.9724089
1300 795 299

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