Ranford Pool – planting for protection

Ranford Pool, Shire of Boddington – before remediation works

In the rural and beautiful Shire of Boddington, approximately 120 km south-east of Perth, runs the tranquil Hotham River.

The Hotham River is one of the major upstream waterways which joins the Williams River near Mount Saddleback to form the iconic Murray River, entering the ocean at the Peel-Harvey estuary.

Close to the town of Boddington there is a naturally deeper part of the river which forms a water hole called Darminning Pool, otherwise known as Ranford Pool. From the early 1930s to 1970s it serviced a local tannin factory but eventually came to be a popular swimming hole with locals.

Ranford Pool is surrounded by a diversity of vegetation including paperbarks, flooded gums, wandoo and marri. These trees support a variety of birds, insects, and fish which make it a place of particular natural beauty. Outside of the fringing vegetation is a rural landscape of paddocks with sheep, wheat and other farming industry.

However, in recent years it was recognised that the Ranford Pool Reserve was in a degraded state and requiring restoration in order to protect its natural river banks, while also allowing for continued recreation at the pool.

Urbaqua was fortunate to be engaged to prepare remediation designs for the site with support from the Peel Harvey Catchment Council, the Shire of Boddington, Friends of the Reserves – Boddington (Inc.), and South32 – Worsley Alumina. Working with the Shire and local community groups ensured that any community, social and environmental issues and requirements were considered as part of the design.

Construction of the remediation works began in February 2019 and included:

  • minor modifications to bank shape for stabilisation;
  • rock pitching at the base of the slopes to assist with stabilisation;
  • installation of geo-fabric below summer water levels and under rock pitching, allowing for both existing vegetation & new plants;
  • installation of native woody debris such as tree trunks & collapsed trees for both stabilisation & creation of habitat;
  • installation of native timber hardwood steps & logs for access to the pool; and
  • planting of native seedlings such as acacias, grevillea, banksias & kangaroo paws to enhance the local biodiversity and habitat of the pool.

Now complete, Ranford Pool’s natural beauty has been protected into the future as a result of community and local government dedication and local industry funding, in combination with a bit of expertise from our side. Projects like this demonstrate how to successfully preserve the environmental and heritage values of our local waterways and bushland for both human and other animals, birds and bees to enjoy.

For further information on this project please contact: