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Before & After – the Bowna Waters Reserve at Lake Hume

Before & After – the Bowna Waters Reserve at Lake Hume

A lot of hands make light work. The Bowna Waters Reserve revegetation project along Lake Hume was a joint effort by Greenfleet, Scouts Australia and Goulburn Murray Water. The vast 70-hectare Reserve near Albury, NSW, was first planted by Greenfleet in 2002 as part of the Murray-Darling Rescue project. The aim was to reduce soil salinity and erosion throughout this important river system.

Over two years, together with our partners, we planted over 57,000 trees with a mix of 21 locally native species on this site managed by Goulburn Murray Water. We planted along the shore lines of Lake Hume, connecting into a patch of remnant vegetation further inland.

Lake Hume itself is a major operating storage for the Murry River system which regulates water flow. The lake and river system affect New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Put simply, this area supports the irrigation of farmland, meets urban and stock demands within Victoria and New South Wales, and supplies one third of South Australia’s entitlements. This is a significant place for communities and though it negatively impacts on the environment, it was an honour for Greenfleet to be able to provide a level of protection with our reforestation work.   

Over the years, Greenfleet has revegetated 164ha around Lake Hume, which resulted in the restoration of 10 native forests.

“Our reforestation project in the Bowna Waters Reserve is a great success with high tree survival and diversity. In recent years, successional change has occurred with many of the planted species naturally regenerating within in the site. The trees have transformed the bare landscape as well as sequestering carbon and providing crucial native habitat in this heavily human adapted location,” said Greenfleet Forester Eoghan O’Connor.

Using the National Carbon Accounting Tool developed by CSIRO, we estimate that by 2033, 30 years after planting the trees on this site, this forest will have captured 15,000 tonnes of CO2-e. This is the equivalent to removing approximately 3,488 medium-sized cars from the road for one year.

This fantastic before and after photo shows what trees can create over time and the amazing impact carbon offset donations have on our landscape. The sheer scale of land Greenfleet and the partnering bodies revegetated has created a pretty spectacular forest! Over the years, the trees have spread far and wide adding depth to the great canopy coverage that has grown this past decade. Species planted throughout the sites include many iconic Eucalyptus and Wattle trees. Along the edge of the lake you may spot a native water bird or two fishing around for lunch. The Greenfleet forests create and restore ecosystems full of life and a haven for native wildlife as time progresses. Looking back on the many Greenfleet forests is a joy and really paints a picture of how we are tackling climate change. 

before and after images - birds eye view

All our supporters are truly heroes as their support is making a genuine, lasting impact on the environment. Together, we’re protecting our climate by restoring our forests and this is just one example of the many forests we’ve planted since 1997. Help plant more trees and reduce your impact on climate change by offsetting your carbon emissions. Visit to get started!