Photo Monitoring your Restoration Project

Some really valuable advice from Rivers of Carbon on how to monitor your project using photos.  It is an effective and easy way to monitor vegetation and ecosystem changes. 

Why photo monitor? 

Photo monitoring is not only good for you to track progress of your Landcare project, but is often essential for funding bodies and project partners.  It can also be a great way to show your successes to the public or potential supporters.  It can also help reinvigorate your efforts to see how far a project has come.  At Landcare we strongly encourage photo monitoring of your project. 

"Photo monitoring is the process of taking repeated photos over the course of a projects lifetime.  It's an easy and effective method of monitoring vegetation and ecosystem changes." writes Mikayla Hyland-Wood of Rivers of Carbon. 

"Photos provide objective evidence of a projects progress, providing a visual assessment of whether native vegetation is thriving, or struggling.  This informs future decision about managing the area, perhaps supplementary watering is needed or new native species chosen." writes Ms Hyland-Wood. 

Images: An example of some striking photo evidence - 13 years of revegetation in the making by the North East Bioregional Network. (c) NEBN 

Top Tips for Photo Monitoring 

by Mikayla Hyland-Wood 

Why is it important? 

Image: Myrtlewood Pastoral planting report (c) Myrtlewood Pastoral 

  1. Objectively assesses the success/impact of restoration projects
  2. Interesting to see progress for landholders, partners and funding bodies
  3. Easy to visually keep track of native vegetation growth
  4. Shows how climate/season/stock are affecting the project
  5. Shows which species are thriving on the property vs those that are struggling
  6. Helps to inform larger scale projects for the benefit of people and place
How to Set up a Photo Monitoring point

Image: A Landcare Action Grants project area in the Coal River Valley 

  1. Choose a photo point that provides a good, representative view of the project area
  2. Use an existing corner post, strainer post or install a freestanding post to mark the spot
  3. Keep in mind that plants will grow over time, stand far enough back from works
  4. Label every photo with the photo monitoring point #, date, any important information
When to take photos 

Image: A Landcare Action Grants project area in the Meander Valley 

  1. Before any work has started
  2. After land is prepared
  3. After initial planting/sowing/building
  4. At regular time intervals (1 year is best to catch the same season)
  5. After any natural disaster events (i.e. fire, flood)

Read the entire array of top tips from Rivers of Carbon here, including a video produced by the Yass Area Network of Landcare groups which provides a great overview of how to use photopoints in your restoration projects. 

Helpful Resources