Explore the delightful Glenfern Reserve

Glenfern Reserve members at the rockwall. Photograph by Katherine Cox.

A hidden gem for many but much appreciated and used by others is the Glenfern Valley Bushland Reserve in our very own locality.

This 40 hectare of precious community land is bound by Glenfern Road, Ferny Creek, New Road and the Shire of Yarra Ranges Council depot.

The Reserve would have been enjoyed and used by Australia’s First People, it being Wurundjeri country. From the 1860s the land was fasrmed until its purchase by Boral Quarries in 1977. The quarry was active for only a short time before the land became Crown land. It is now Reserve land managed by the Yarra Ranges Council and the Friends of Glenfern Valley Bushlands.

The latter group began its involvement 20 years ago when a group of concerned locals campaigned to have the site restored. There followed countless hours of dedication, skills and devotion to bring about an inviting place of tranquillity for the community to enjoy at their leisure. Flora and fauna are beneficiaries too with huge swathes of unwelcome invasive plants now removed to allow for regrowth of native vegetation and new plantings.

The group’s Mission is to conserve and enhance the diversity of native flora and fauna of the Glenfern Valley Bushland while preserving community access and encouraging education and compatible use for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

The Yarra Ranges Council and Melbourne Water are very supportive, enabling the group to continue their work. The progress made over the 20 years has been remarkable thanks to the generosity and foresight of a band of dedicated locals. Many of the original members  are still active. They took on a big task since the land had become the dumping ground for one and all, with 4WDs and motorbikes leaving deeply rutted tracks.

The Reserve’s tracks, some flat and some with gentle climbs, now meander through a variety of vegetation types from grasses to upper and mid storey trees and shrubs, providing for a variety of fauna who call it home, use it seasonally, or as they wish.

Where once the quarry was, in the centre of the Reserve, an attractive gathering area has been created with artistic seating, frog ponds and wonderful views  – a place to enjoy a rest, a quiet time, or a chat and picnic with family and friends.

The Friend’s Group meet twice monthly, on the third Sunday, from 9:30am to 12:30pm and on the first Wednesday from 9:00am to 11:00am. As a recent member I am inspired by the group and its endeavours, finding them welcoming and willing to share their story and skills with new members. I would also like, in this article, to applaud and acknowledge the pioneer group whose commitment has provided a wonderful space and local treasure. I encourage you to visit and maybe even become a member.

For more detailed information visit: http://www.glenfernvalleybushlands.org.au

Frances Henderson

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