A win for the environment

Article image - A win for the environment Melanie Moss will establish a hardstand area with shelter, fencing and drainage works, designed to protect the land and the health of her horses.

A clever horse management system designed to increase horse wellbeing while reducing impacts on the environment is the first project to receive funding through a new scheme from Tweed Shire Council, New South Wales.

The Innovative Solutions Grant Fund encourages and support individuals, organisations and community groups to develop new, creative and innovative solutions to a range of current sustainability challenges facing the Tweed.

Melanie Moss from Stokers Siding received grant funding to adopt the ‘Equicentral System’, which links paddocks to a communal surfaced yard area. The project involves establishing a hardstand area with shelter, fencing and drainage works.

“My property plan is to implement a system of sustainable equine management with good land management practice, which will not only have a positive impact on my horses’ wellbeing, but also on the health and productivity of the land.

“By changing the traditional way of keeping horses separately in large, singular paddocks, I am aiming to run all my horses together and implement a hardstand or ‘loafing’ area for the horses to congregate, with access to each paddock on a rotational basis.”

The advantages of the system include less compaction and erosion of the soil in paddocks, less manure making its way into the waterways and reduced risk of weeds spreading.

Council is contributing almost $4,000 to the project through the Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Program, in partnership with the Innovative Solutions Grant Fund, with the majority of works (more than $15,000 in cash and in-kind) to be funded by the landowner.