Bequeathed by the Estate of Ralph Illidge in 1975, Ralph Illidge Sanctuary Reserve is one of the earliest properties acquired by Trust for Nature. This reserve was increased in size in 1987 with the addition of extra land. Many different animals and plants live in the reserve with a number of threatened species having been recorded. The Ralph Illidge Sanctuary Reserve is 92 ha and is located at 44 Halfords Road, Naringal East.
All Trust for Nature reserves are closed on days of Total Fire Ban, and days of severe, extreme and code red fire danger.
Explore Ralph Illidge Sanctuary Reserve
There are three main vegetation communities in Ralph Illiedge Sanctuayr, including the vulnerable Herb-rich Foothill Forest and Riparian forest. The foothill forest vegetation resembles an open woodland structure. The vegetation along the Brucknell Creek is riparian forest, which appears similar to rainforest, with Messmate and Manna Gums and a damp understorey. The reserve typically has a high level of canopy cover and is rich in native shrubs, herbs and grasses.
The tall forests have fully recovered since the whole reserve was burnt in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires. The diversity of the vegetation has recovered and now supports a variety of birds and mammals.
The rare and unusual Dwarf Silver Wattle (Acacia nanodealbata) occurs on the reserve, as well as rainforest species which are not seen in the surrounding cleared farmland, making this a sanctuary for enjoying the ambiance of the forest.
The reserve is home to a population of Long Nosed Potoroos (Potorous tridactylus). Listed as Endangered in Victoria, this predominately nocturnal species lives in dense undergrowth in sclerophyll forests. Other notable species using the reserve for habitat are the endangered Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) and Rufus Bristle Bird (Dasyornis broadbenti).
The reserve was bequeathed to the “people of Victoria” by Ralph Illidge with the property’s title being transferred to Trust for Nature in 1975. Mr Illidge purchased the property in 1961 and during this time, some land was cleared and grazed. After a short while, Mr Illidge realised that bushland and birds was more to his liking, ceasing the previous management actions and allowing the natural areas to regenerate.
In 1987 the reserve was extended with the incorporation of the northern section with the help of local conservation groups, service groups and the Victorian Government. The reserve is now managed by the Friends of Ralph Illidge Sanctuary who run regular working bees.
There is a comprehensive information centre with toilet facilities on site. Tables and seating within the tranquil forest provides a pleasant picnic location.
Walking tracks traverse the sanctuary with bridges and boardwalks in place to assist in the riparian areas of the reserve. Quiet meandering will reward visitors with wildlife viewing within the shaded glades of this beautiful forest.
Our reserves have hazards that may cause serious injury or death. You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.
The reserve is closed during days declared as Total Fire Bans and/or where the fire danger rating is Severe, Extreme or Code Red.
The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including several species of venomous snake. During summer it is advised that long trousers and gaiters are worn when walking in the reserve.
Visitors to the reserve are requested to not cross any fence-lines, or venture onto neighbouring private property. All visitors are requested to stay on the marked walking trails.
- Falling limbs
- Chemical storage