Levi Springs protected

Friends of Mound Springs have completed a long-planned fencing project that will give new protection to Levi Springs in the State’s Far North.

The project, completed in 2019, saw nine Friends of Mound Springs (FOMS) volunteers fence ten springs. It involved installing 2.5km of fencing – four strands of barbed wire with mainly steel posts – protecting 25ha from the impacts of cattle and other herbivores.

Age was certainly no barrier to this ambitious volunteer project, with five of the fencing team well past the 70 mark and the remainder aged in their 60s.

Levi Springs comprises an important group of Great Artesian Basin springs, about 100 kilometres north-west of William Creek, on the Peake Pastoral Lease. It includes impressive rocky outcrops with petroglyphs, which are of great importance to the Arabana Aboriginal people. The area also includes the remnants of a shepherd’s hut and coolabah yards, surviving relics of early pastoral times when sheep were run on the country.

The decision to fence Levi Springs was first proposed as part of the former SA Arid Lands NRM Board Desert Jewels project, which ran from 2013-2016. An agreed fencing alignment to protect ten springs and the shepherd’s hut ruins was given formal endorsement by the Arabana Aboriginal Corporation Directors’ Group and by the then lessees of the Peake Pastoral Lease, S Kidman & Co. When the pastoral lease was sold to the Williams Cattle Company, further support was sought, and granted, from Tony and Trevor Williams.

FOMS secretary Simon Lewis said the logistics involved in preparing for up to 2.5km of fencing to be erected by volunteers in a remote environment were complex and many months were taken in finalising the fence design, reviewing equipment requirements, ordering additional materials needed and arranging for the transport of materials to Levi Springs.

Final arrangements for the fencing work were completed in mid-2019. The volunteer fencing team of nine was finalised and work was completed, on schedule, in July last year. As part of the work, a series of photographic monitoring points were established and FOMS will maintain this monitoring program in the future.

The Friends of Mound Springs acknowledged the funding support from the SA Arid Lands NRM Board and the Friends of Private Bushland for this project and thanked the Department for Environment and Water for the provision of some fencing materials. The support of the Arabana Aboriginal Corporation and Williams Cattle Company are also acknowledged.