Protecting a wildflower spectacle
The rugged Gariwerd/Grampians mountain range is one of the most spectacular landscapes in Victoria. It is also a refuge for wildlife and plants from the surrounding farmlands. While much of the land is protected by National Park, there are still large areas of privately owned, intact habitat surrounding the Park.
Trust for Nature is protecting one of these areas forever through a conservation covenant, on Kylie Rose and Andrew Taylor’s 61 ha property at Bornes Hill in the southern Grampians. The Geelong family of five bought the property two years ago when they were looking for a bush block to spend holidays and weekends and go bushwalking in the National Park.
“The first time we visited the property we fell in love with the huge river red gums, these beautiful old giants have so much character. We think they could be 600 to 700 years old. To imagine what they’ve witnessed is incredible and humbling,” Kylie said.
The property, adjacent to the National Park, contains significant areas of endangered Plains Grassy Woodland and vulnerable Plains Sedgy Woodland. Many areas are seasonally inundated, providing important habitat for a range of wetland species. The property is home to a population of nationally threatened Clover Glycine, which blooms with purple pea flowers in late spring. The more Kylie and Andrew got to know the property, the more they realised how special it was.
“We approached the Trust when we realised that we don’t own these ancient trees: we’re just temporary custodians. We have a strong sense of responsibility to protect the land from future development,” said Kylie.
Trust for Nature Conservation Officer Adam Merrick says the property forms an important connection with the National Park. It is being protected with the support of the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Program.
“The wetlands on the property become a refuge for woodland birds in summertime when the plains are dry. It’s a transition zone between two major different types of habitat, where the forest wildlife of the Grampians meets the wildlife of the plains. So, it’s really important habitat-wise.
“It’s very weed free too because it’s seasonally inundated with water. That makes it fantastic habitat for wildflowers, particularly lilies and orchids. The flowering display in spring is spectacular.”
At the moment, Kylie and Andrew are enjoying getting to know the property and connecting with other people in the area who are equally as passionate about nature.
Kylie said, “We’re really keen to learn more. We love nature but we aren’t experts, so connecting with people like Adam and other conservation groups has been amazing. Learning how to protect, conserve and enhance nature for future generations is exciting and rewarding, it certainly makes us sleep better at night.”
For more information about projects in the Glenelg Hopkins region contact Conservation Officer Adam Merrick on (03) 8631 5888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.