Grange Heathland Reserve
The Grange Heathland is a hugely significant 6.6 hectare reserve which is highly valued as a conservation area due to the relative intactness and diversity (some 230 species, including a number of regionally rare species) of heath vegetation spread across four different Ecological Vegetation Classes.
The reserve supports a huge diversity of plants across a variety of habitats including Sand Heathland (EVC 6) and Heathy Woodland (EVC 48), Swampy Woodland (EVC 937) and Swamp Scrub (EVC 53).
Prominent trees include the Coast Manna Gum, Silver-leafed stringybark and the Swamp Paperbark, while a rich array of shrubs including Spike Wattle, Furze Hakea, Scented Paperbark, Prickly Tea Tree and Victoria’s floral emblem the Common Heath grow in the reserve.
A diverse range of flowering species including 20 orchid varieties, including the rare Prawn Orchid, the carnivorous Tall Sundew and several species of lilies including the very beautiful and fragile Twining Fringe Lily.
The ground layer includes rare examples of remnant grasses including Weeping Grass, Bidgee Widgee, Saw Sedge and Common Reed.
More than 63 species of indigenous animals have been recorded in the reserve, and countless species of insects, including several species of butterflies, moths and dragonflies.
More than 48 species of birds have been recorded within the Grange Heathland Reserve, including birds of prey like the Brown Goshawk, the Peregrine Falcon, the Brown Falcon, and the Australian Kestrel.
Four species of frogs live in the Grange, with six species of reptile have been recorded within the reserve including two species of skinks, the blotched blue tongue lizard, and geckos. Several Lowland Copperhead Snakes live in the reserve basking in the sun on warm days and feeding on skinks, frogs and small mammals.
In times past the area which is now the Grange Heathland Reserve would have supported a diverse range of mammals including Kangaroos, Wallabies, Koalas, Quolls, Dingos, Echidna and Potoroos. Today the reserve provides habitat for up to five species of mammal including both Ringtail and Brushtail possums and two species of Bats all of which are best observed and heard at night.
Management of pest plants and animals
The major threats to the reserve come from introduced plants and animals A feral proof fence was constructed around the Heathland in 1999 to protect the flora and fauna from pest animals. The fence prevents rabbits from entering the reserve and destroying plants, causing erosion and disturbing the soil through their feeding and burrowing habits. Cats, dogs and foxes are also excluded from the reserve thus preventing them from preying on indigenous fauna.
Maintenance and protection of the fence is imperative to ensure the survival of plants and animals. Rangers and volunteers work continuously at the Grange to remove a variety of grassy and woody weeds through manual, mechanical, chemical methods and fire management.
Caring for The Grange as a visitor
It is extremely important that all visitors to the reserve understand the sensitivity of the heathland environment to disturbance. Straying off tracks, dropping litter, bringing dogs into the reserve and lighting wild fires all have serious negative impacts on the natural environment.
Straying off the designated walking tracks results in the trampling of indigenous plants, in particular orchids and young seedlings. Trampling through the bush encourages new tracks which ultimately results in less bushland and habitat. Visitors are also reminded that snakes live in the reserve thus keeping to the tracks is highly recommended for your own safety.
Fire is important to heathland communities however uncontrolled or unplanned fires can have severely negative effects on the vegetation and be dangerous to visitors. Fires which occur in the wrong season, too often or do not burn at the correct intensity can cause flora and fauna populations to decline and may encourage invasion from weed species.
Keeping your dogs on leash and picking up your dogs droppings in the area of the reserve outside of the feral proof fence
Protecting the feral proof fence by not attempting to enter the feral proof area if it has been locked up for total fire ban days or management purposes.
136 Osbourne Avenue, Clayton South 3169 View Map