The City of Casey’s nature reserves provide an array of exciting and varying environmental experiences. Home to a large number of flora and fauna, each reserve plays a critical role in ensuring the environmental connectivity of the municipality.
In 2007, Council identified that there was only 7% of native vegetation cover remaining in the municipality. The City of Casey is working with private land owners, developers and other government organisations to protect and enhance the remaining significant vegetation scattered throughout the municipality.
Casey’s 12 nature reserves are home to rare and threatened species including Southern Brown Bandicoot, Southern Toadlet, Glossy Grass Skink and the Growling Grass Frog.
Bell Bird Nature Reserve
Address: Eagle Hawk Drive, Narre Warren
Bell Bird Nature Reserve is a narrow park created to protect the historic aqueduct which was used to transport water from Beaconsfield, through Lysterfield and finally to Mornington, during the early and mid-1900s.
Although small in size, pocket reserves play an important role in urban biodiversity by providing food and shelter for wildlife. Bell Bird Nature Reserve is dominated by Eucalyptus trees, Sheoaks and Acacias and demonstrates what the landscape originally looked like.
Blind Bight Nature Reserve
Address: Anchorage drive, Blind Bight
The Blind Bight Nature Reserve is a 36.5 hectare stretch of coastal space renowned for its rare and threatened wildlife.
Visitors can often catch a glimpse of Swamp Wallabies, Copperhead Snakes, Tiger Snakes or even echidnas! You may even see a rare Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus), which is becoming more common throughout the reserve.
Once in bloom, more than 100 species of plants can be seen throughout the reserve. Spring brings a burst of colour, with orchids and wildflowers on show. From August to November, a keen eye may be lucky enough to see spider, donkey, onion, sun and greenhood orchids along the main path.
Adjacent to Western Port Bay, the woodlands of Blind Bight Nature Reserve are a rich wonderland of diverse ecosystems that play an important role in providing habitats and assisting with erosion control and water filtration.
Brookland Greens Nature Reserve
Address: Cherryhills Drive, Cranbourne
Brookland Greens Nature Reserve is a 12 hectare stretch of public land boasting a number of walking paths which allow visitors to experience the smell and texture of the many plants as they weave through the reserve.
Adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne this nature reserve is home to rare species, including the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus), which can often be seen scurrying for cover. Usually found in areas of dense tussocky grasses, bandicoots are also known to survive in farming and semi-urban areas. The small ground-dwelling marsupial has a backwards facing pouch and feeds on insects and fungi buried in the ground, leaving a distinctive conical hole.
Four vegetation communities, consisting of more than 49 native plants, have been identified throughout the nature reserve, three of which are endangered. Dominated by two Eucalyptus species, the understory is a mix of Acacia (wattle) species and Melaleuca (tea trees).
Brookland Greens Nature Reserve was acquired by the City of Casey in 2012.
Casuarina Forest Nature Reserve
Address: William Hovell Drive, Endeavour Hills
Casuarina Forest Nature Reserve appears to be a typical grassy, woodland community. However, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries registered the reserve as a biosite due to its diverse flora, including its domination by Allocasuarina littoralis (black sheoak).
Prior to European settlement this form of grassy woodland was rare across the state. As a remnant stand of Sheoaks, the reserve provides an insight into how the surrounding vegetation looked.
In spring, the true diversity of the reserve can be seen with Grass Trigger Plants, Pale Vanilla Lilies, Black Anther Flax Lily and Austral Indigo bursting with colour. Native grasses dominate the ground layer with Kangaroo grass and Weeping Meadow grass on display.
Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos and lorikeets are regularly seen feeding on the seeds of the sheoaks.
Small reserves like Casuarina Forest Nature Reserve play an important role in urban biodiversity by providing food and shelter for wildlife.
Colley Street Nature Reserve
Address: Colley Street and Nathaniel Street, Pearcedale
Located in the heart of Pearcedale, Colley Street Nature Reserve is 3.2 hectares. Boasting a variety of native plants including orchids, banksias, gum trees, dianellas and native grasses the nature reserve also provides a refuge for wildlife in the developing urban environment. The Friends of Colley Street undertake invaluable work to ensure the nature reserve continues to be an asset for the community.
Originally owned by the Department of Education, the site was used by Pearcedale Primary School from 1930 where students learnt about Australian native plants and animals.
In 1992, the local community began petitioning Council to purchase the land, citing the environmental values and community benefits of retaining the site as a nature reserve.
Colley Street Nature Reserve was acquired by the Shire of Cranbourne in 1994.
Grandeur Nature Reserve
Address: Grandeur Court, Cranbourne
This one acre nature reserve is a good example of the vegetation that would have been present prior to European settlement. Dominated by old banksias and Eucalyptus trees, the understory consists of heaths, pea flowers and the rare wedding bush.
Located near the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne and the Cranbourne Racing Complex, the nature reserve is known to have fleeting visits from Southern Brown Bandicoots (Isoodon obesulus obesulus) and the occasional Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).
Hill Top Nature Reserve
Address: Mcmahon Avenue, Cranbourne North
Hill Top Nature Reserve was identified as having Aboriginal significance after a cultural heritage survey was undertaken. The park is managed to enhance its natural values and to protect its Aboriginal heritage.
While the 10 hectare nature reserve is dominated by Manna Gums, it also boasts diverse plant species, including Cherry Ballart (Exocarpus), Wattles (Acacias) and Sheoaks (Allocasuarina). The large old trees provide shelter for a range of birds and possums.
Birds of prey are often seen circling the skies on the hunt for food, Superb Fairy Wrens dart for cover between the bushes and snakes can often been seen basking in the sun.
Hill Top Nature Reserve was gifted to the City of Casey in 2011.
Jessie Traill Nature Reserve
Address: King Road, Harkaway
Jessie Traill Nature Reserve is 2.4 hectares and consists of three parcels of land. The first parcel was given to the citizens of Harkaway by Miss Jessie Traill, a distinguished artist and war veteran.
The City of Casey later acquired the remaining two parcels when the adjacent land was subdivided.
In 1993, with the help of local residents, the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers started removing weeds in the nature reserve and in 1996 the Friends of Harkaway Reserves was formed.
The Friends group, driven by local resident Judy Wallace, has worked tireless for many years. Today the reserve is one of Casey’s most diverse, with more than 110 plant species on show.
Morning Mist Nature Reserve
Address: Brown Road, Cranbourne South
Morning Mist is a unique nature reserve which combines recreation and conservation. The 15 hectare site is divided into two distinctive sections. Half of the reserve has been retained as natural bush, while the pony club, tennis club and pigeon club are nestled amongst the bushes on the remaining land.
With more than 50 plant species, the nature reserve is dominated by Eucalyptus trees with a dense understory of grasses and sedges. The vegetation provides shelter for the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus). Copperhead (Austrelaps superbus) and Tiger (Notechis scutatus) Snakes share the paths and can often be seen basking in the sun.
Rutter Park Nature Reserve
Address: South Gippsland Highway, Tooradin
Located in the centre of Rutter Park Recreation Reserve, this small but significant patch of swamp scrub vegetation is home to rare and endangered species including Great Egret, Wedge Tailed Eagle, Swamp Harrier, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Swamp Skink and Southern Toadlet.
The nature reserve is 2.4 hectares and is dominated by Tea Trees (Melaleuca) with occasional wattles(Acacias). The ground covers consists of Lomandra, Juncus, and Pigface.
Adjacent to Western Port Bay, this reserve is regularly visited by migratory birds.
Woodlot Lane Nature Reserve
Address: Woodlot Lane, Tooradin
Woodlot Lane Nature Reserve is a 12 hectare hidden gem nestled along the shoreline of Western Port Bay. This nature reserve is home to rare animals including the Southern Toadlet (Pseudophryne semimarmorata), Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus), Glossy Grass Skink (Pseudemoia rawlinsoni) and Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus).
With a canopy of Coastal Manna Gum (Eucalyptus prioriana), theground cover is thick with bracken, and in clearings a diverse range of grasses can be found. Wildflowers are on show in spring, attracting nectar-feeding birds into the reserve.
Snakes share the paths and lizards can be heard darting from the track as visitors stroll along the 400 metre walking path which ends with a view of the unique coastal vegetation.
Yannathan Nature Reserve
Address: Yannathan Street, Tooradin
Once a small parcel of farming land, this nature reserve is managed to enhance the Mangrove and Saltmarsh vegetation communities which exist in the tidal zone. On the banks of Stawell’s Inlet, the White Mangroves (Avicennia marina) require regular flushes with saltwater to ensure their survival. With approximately 30 species of mangroves occurring in Australia, the White Mangrove is the only surviving species this far south.
With Bearded Glasswart dominating the ground flora, this nature reserve would have once provided feeding grounds for the endangered Orange Bellied Parrot. Revegetation works are being undertaken to recreate the Heathy Woodland vegetation community that would have once occurred here.
For more information please contact the City of Casey Environment Department on 9705 5200.