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Queenscliffe Herald Article - October 2005

Local Nature Reserve

by Dianne Jones
of the Swan Bay Environment Association

The Borough of Queenscliffe is blessed with beautiful views and walks along the coast, Port Phillip Bay and Swan Bay. The opportunity to commune with nature in this way is no doubt good for the soul. Many of you have chosen to live and holiday in the Borough to experience this wonderful seaside environment. But do you ever long for the bush?

Do you know we are fortunate to also have the bush on our doorstep? Within a ten minute drive is the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve on Grubb Road. (Melways 234 E1). Apart from small pockets such as Ballara discussed in the June edition, the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve is the last remaining significant area of native vegetation on the Bellarine Peninsula. It covers an area of 143 hectares. The Reserve is always open to pedestrians and vehicular access is daily between 10 and 5. The Reserve has a picnic area and several walking tracks. There is a wetlands which is sometimes dry. With good seasonal rains it becomes a lake and reverberates with the sound of frogs.

Many species of native birds live and breed in the reserve. Bird hides are located at strategic locations. It is quite usual to spot a wallaby. Other mammals such as possums and bats only come out at night. There are several distinct vegetation communities – Grass-tree, Manna Gum, Yellow Gum and Drooping Sheoak. Black Sheoaks, several wattle species, rushes and grasses are found throughout the Reserve. During spring and summer there are displays of the flowers of climbing plants and other wildflowers and the Common Brown Butterfly abounds.

The Reserve is a former privately owned bushland and has an interesting history. A committee to raise funds to purchase the Reserve was formed in 1962 and the Reserve opened to the public in 1971. It is now under the control of Parks Victoria. During most weekends the Friends of Ocean Grove Nature Reserve open the Visitor Information Centre located at the end of the driveway. The Friends Group also hold monthly activities and welcome new members.

The Ocean Grove Nature Reserve is a special place that many of us love. It is very important to protect the Reserve to preserve the natural heritage of the Bellarine Peninsula. Information from Park notes has been used in this article. Park notes are available at the Reserve or at the Queenscliff Parks Office, Larkin Parade or by accessing at www.parks.vic.gov.au


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