There would be only a handful of local families that could say they have been farming the same land for 123 years!
The Carter family from Tutunup have that claim to fame with ancestors, Timothy and Martha Carter taking up the lease of 3000 acres back in 1899.
The farm is still a family affair with Ross Carter, sharing his passion for the land with his grandsons, Jake and Carter.
Ross’s passion for his property is evident with his commitment to caring for the Ludlow River which runs right through the block.
While the trend at the time was to clear the land, Ross’s ancestors saw the value in saving some vegetation for the well-being of their cattle. “My great-grandparents left patches of trees in each paddock for shelter for cattle, and being very concerned with our environment, I’ve carried on from there. Seeing cattle walking down the riverbanks and wanting to encourage birdlife prompted me to do something about restoring the riverbank” says Ross.
The partnership between GeoCatch and the Carters goes back 16 years, to 2007 when the family began fencing and planting the banks of the Ludlow River.
Ross’s daughter, Louise remembers, “Jake was only a small baby when we were first planting out the area and now he’s here as a 17-year-old helping to restore the river, and will hopefully one day work on the farm”.
Recently, the three generations were out working together to install stock proof-fencing funded through GeoCatch’s Rivercare program, with the aim to prevent stock and nutrients from entering the waterway. This year the family will be replacing some older fences, as well as continuing to plant out parts of the riverbank. Jake has inherited his pop’s love of the land, showing a huge interest in the native wildlife above and below the calm waters of the Ludlow.
The riparian vegetation planted 17 years ago is now habitat to a variety of birds, including Cockatoos such as the beautiful Red-Tailed Black, and the endangered Baudin’s and Carnaby’s Cockatoos.
GeoCatch is offering Geographe farmers assistance with stream restoration, including stock-proof fencing and revegetation on grazing properties.
Since 1997 more than 450km of Geographe waterways have been protected through stock exclusion fencing, weed control and revegetation.
If you have a waterway on your grazing property and you’d like to have a chat about how GeoCatch can help, get in touch on 0491 069 078.
This project is part of Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways, State Government initiatives that aim to support the long-term health of our south-west waterways.
Photo: GeoCatch Rivercare officer, Claire Macleay, Ross Carter and Jake Bailey standing in front of the rehabilitated Ludlow River bank in 2023.
Photo: The same stretch of Ludlow River in 2007, prior to the partnership project with GeoCatch and the Carter family.