Birts Hill

Birt’s Hill

by Gwen Whitney

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We brought a property in the Birt’s Hill area seven years ago and were made aware of the biological significance of the area through the survey carried out by the Maroondah City Council. We were very attracted to the area and at that time could walk through the natural bushland via a well worn track adjacent to our property.

We soon grew to love the area and began to become more familiar with the indigenous plants on our own property and in Birt’s Hill reserve. We discovered there were times throughout the year when the reserve is a blaze of colour.

It was exciting to locate a species, mark the area and return the next year to see if the plant had returned, we also began collecting seed to supply Candlebark Nursery for propagation.

With a little knowledge and studying our Flora of Melbourne carefully we began to identify and photograph more plants, this made us realize that the little reserve was a neglected corner of indigenous vegetation that was overlooked in comparison to the many other reserves within the Maroondah region.

Some planting had been carried out several years ago but maintenance of the area replanted was very minimal. After speaking to Maroondah Council Parks and Works people regarding the Angle Onion weed infestation in the replanted area we began to remove this weed by hand. Four years later by targeting a small area each year we can see some reduction of this weed threat.

We realized that for any significant protection of the Birts’ Hill reserve area we would need to seek other assistance and was fortunate to speak to Sandra Hardiman, a member of Croydon Conservation Society. Sandra suggested the possibility of them assisting us through a project. Consequently in conjunction with Maroondah City Council the Croydon Conservation Society took up our proposal and submitted it and obtained a Heritage grant to carry out work within the reserve this year.

We hope that members may assist us when we publish dates for weed removal, planting days throughout the year.

With this funding grant and the assistance of the Croydon Conservation Society the Birt’s Hill reserve will continue to provide an unique flora area that reminds us of what Croydon was once as well as providing a source of seed for future propagation of indigenous plants for replanting throughout the Birt’s Hill area.

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