Making a living off the land
Opening up the land
Whitewells Station plan
Eucalyptus oil
Shepherds to sheep stations
Fencing the hay paddock
Making hay

Fencing the hay paddock

By the 1920s when the hay paddock at White Wells was cleared, rabbits had invaded Western Australia and crops had to be protected from these voracious grazers.

The standard 5-wire sheep fence or the dog netting used on the boundary fences were no barrier to rabbits, so a rabbit proof fence was constructed around the hay paddock.


The fence had native pine posts with six plain wires, the bottom wire set a little above the ground. The galvanised rabbit mesh was fixed to the lower four wires and its bottom edge buried to prevent the rabbits burrowing under it. It also served to keep sheep out of the crop, and to keep them in when the paddock was used as a holding paddock at shearing or when the sheep could graze the stubble. It would have required regular repair as kangaroos would have pushed through it, and still do where it is still standing. 

The first section constructed in the 1920s would have been around the northern ‘long paddock’. The original northern and eastern fences are still in place, but the southern and western sides were replaced with modern steel fences.  


A new rabbit proof fence was erected in the ‘long paddock’ in 2006 for scientific purposes. A small area was fenced as an ‘exclosure’ to keep animals out.  Half the exclosure keeps kangaroos and goats out, the other half has a small wire mesh to exclude rabbits as well. It was designed for monitoring the effect of grazing on the regeneration of the hay paddock since the removal of the sheep from the reserve.

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