friends of bayside

About the Friends of Bayside groups

Who are the Friends of Bayside

Friends of Bayside is a Council managed volunteer program that enables individuals or groups to get involved in protecting and promoting Bayside’s unique biodiversity for the benefit of future generations.

Friends work alongside Council undertaking a range of tasks to preserve the heathlands, bushlands and coastal reserves unique to this area.These tasks might involve:

  • Weed removal and control
  • Planting indigenous plants
  • Seed collecting
  • Observing and recording flora and fauna sightings
  • Bush regeneration activities
  • Volunteering at the nursery
  • Habitat protection
  • Hosting community events

As a Friend you can choose to volunteer your time at a chosen area of heathland, woodland or foreshore within the municipality.

Friends of Bayside offers partnerships with organisations, schools and individuals. Friends provide opportunities for individuals or groups to make a positive impact on the environment, no matter whether they have a little or a lot of time to spare.

Council provide support to volunteers by offering full training and supervision, specialised training opportunities, a free quarterly subscription to the Banksia Bulletin, and invitations to guest speaker events and an end of year celebration.

Friends groups

Foreshore groups

Heathland groups

Parkland groups

Other groups

Foreshore groups

Black Rock and Sandringham Conservation Association (BRASCA)

BRASCA take great pride and pleasure working among the coastal woodlands between Jetty Road in Sandringham to the Black Rock clock tower, admiring the beautiful bay view whilst weeding and planting.

BRASCA originally formed in 1969 to prevent the cliff-top vegetation near the Black Rock Yacht Club from being cleared to make way for a paved car park. Today, members undertake preservation activities including weeding and planting, as well as participating in the many Council activities that are organised along the coastline.

planting by Kim Croker

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Friends of Brighton Dunes/Jim Willis Reserve, Brighton

Friends of Brighton Dunes volunteer along this one kilometre stretch of indigenous coastal vegetation, working to preserve this ancient remnant dune system and heritage midden area, which runs from Green Point to the Brighton Surf Life Saving Club.

Volunteers meet regularly to remove weeds, plant and preserve the climax plant communities, which provide habitat to several families of Superb Fairy Wrens, amongst other birds and at least six species of skinks.

brighton dunes by Neri Brewer

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Friends of Ricketts Point Landside, Beaumaris

The Friends of Ricketts Point Landside help protect and preserve Ricketts Point Landside, which extends along Beach Road in Beaumaris for approximately 600 metres between Haydens Road and Reserve Road.

The reserve is the closest landside remnant Coastal Banksia (Banksia integrifolia) woodland to the city on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay. It boasts trees which are over 200 years old. In the damp soils of a natural depression to the south, you can hear the Southern Brown Tree Frog (Littoria ewingii) calling and see Swamp Paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia) growing.

coastal banksia

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Friends of Table Rock, Beaumaris

The Friends of Table Rock care for the area along the foreshore reserve from Rennison Street to Keys Street in Beaumaris. The major aim of the group is to help control the spread of weeds, especially Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) whilst stabilising the cliff face along this part of the foreshore.

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Friends of Ricketts Point, Beaumaris

Ricketts Point covers the coastal area around Watkins Bay (also known as Dalgetty Road Beach) and is part of the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary. Volunteer activity is mainly concentrated below the cliffs, removing weeds such as Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens) and Veldt Grass (Ehrharta calycina), and in autumn and winter, planting indigenous species.

The area is home to a small number of Superb Fairy Wrens, a species that is dwindling in Bayside, and many species of sea birds that roost on the rock platforms.

blue wren by Kim Croker

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Heathland groups

Friends of Balcombe Park, Beaumaris

Balcombe Park consists of 3.4 hectares of parkland, including a sporting oval surrounded on 2 sides with good examples of indigenous heathland floral species and communities.

Friends of Balcombe Park was formed in 1996 to care for the area burned by wildfire in 1991. The fire regenerated a substantial heathland community, in particular, the species Wedding Bush (Ricinocarpus pinifolius). Since then two ecological burns have taken place, in 2001 and 2008. Over 40 heathland species have been recorded in the 2001 burn site, a number of which are rare species regenerated from the seed bank in the soil.

The Friends work to maintain the heathland by hand weeding, planting and seed collection, as the park plays a key role in our bushland and open space network.

commen wedge pea by pauline reynolds

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Friends of Bay Road Heathland Sanctuary, Sandringham

(Melway reference 77 B10)

Bay Road Heathland Sanctuary is the nearest heathland to the Melbourne CBD and the largest in Bayside. Sheltered by trees, it is maintained so that people can enjoy the peace and wide variety of plants and animals.

Friends of Bay Road Heathland Sanctuary care for the heathland mainly by weeding, planting and seed collection. They also provide guides when the Sanctuary is open to the public.

Public access through the Sanctuary is on Thursday each week and during the annual ‘Spring Openings’ and other special events.

Allocasuarina paludosa by Pauline Reynolds

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Friends of Cheltenham Park Flora and Fauna Reserve, Cheltenham

(Melway reference 86 G1)

Cheltenham Park Flora and Fauna Reserve is located in Cheltenham Park, off Park Road, Cheltenham. In 1951, the reserve was set aside as an Australian Botanical Park displaying good examples of indigenous plant communities, including a diverse range of orchids.

Friends of Cheltenham Park have been working in the reserve for over 15 years to restore the park to its original diverse state. A controlled burn was carried out in 2006 which was very successful.  Indigenous plant species such as Wedding Bush (Ricinocarpus pinifolius) regerminated which had not been seen in the park for many years. The reserve now contains a large variety of indigenous plants, and continues to thrive due to the voluntary efforts of the Friends.

wedding bush by Pauline Reynolds

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Donald MacDonald Reserve, Beaumaris

(Melway reference 86 B6)

Donald MacDonald Reserve contains an area of remnant vegetation and plays a key role in our bushland and open space network. The presence of a large colony of native orchids also gives it regional significance. The sportsground is surrounded by a bushland outer of mainly Coast Tea-tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) and Coast Wattle (Acacia sophorae). Many indigenous species such as Showy Bossiaea (Bossiaea cinerea) and Sand-hill Sword-sedge (Lepidosperma concavum) also remain.

Friends of Donald MacDonald Reserve was formed in 1992 and are committed to restoring and protecting the indigenous and remnant vegetation of the area. Activities are dependent on the seasons and include seed gathering, weeding, planting of indigenous species, watering, litter removal, walks through otherwise restricted sections of the reserve, and a morning tea get together.

Leptospermum laevigatum by Pauline Reynolds

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George Street Reserve, Sandringham

(Melway reference 77 B12)

Friends of George Street Reserve meet regularly to nurture this beautiful reserve containing both woodland and heathland vegetation communities, which are invaluable in their contribution to the biodiversity of the region.

Following a wildfire in November 2006 and the construction of fencing around regeneration areas, remarkable regeneration has occurred, including the growth of species not previously recorded, including Drooping Cassinia (Cassinia arcuata).

Friends of George St Working Bee by Pauline Reynolds

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Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary, Beaumaris

(Melway reference 86 C6)

Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary located between Sunset and Gramatan Avenues in Beaumaris is Bayside’s smallest conservation reserve. Purchased by the former City of Sandingham in 1956, it has become a ’living museum’ of Silky Tea-tree heath. About 50 indigenous species were identified in 1990 that were once widespread but are now considered rare. The sanctuary contains vegetation communities of local, state and regional significance.

Friends of Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary assist with the protection of this significant heathland. They carry out weeding, planting and sometimes help with controlled burns.

Tiger Orchid Diuris sulphurea by Pauline Reynolds

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Long Hollow Heathland, Beaumaris

(Melway reference 86 C5)

Friends currently carry out preservation activities in the Long Hollow Heathland located south of the Beaumaris campus of the Sandringham Secondary College in Reserve Road. The heathland comprises woodland of regional significance and heathland of state significance, as well as a rare collection of wet heath species. The reserve is also the only known location of 28 indigenous plant species, of which 21 species are considered regionally rare.

Long Hollow Reserve by Neri Brewer

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Parkland groups

Urban parkland groups operate across chosen areas of horticultural parklands within the municipality to maintain and improve their look and services. The activities of these groups are supervised and attended by the Open Space team, in accordance with the site’s action plan.

New groups are encouraged to register and adopt one of  our many urban parks or gardens.

Friends of Merindah Park and urban forest

Merindah Park is host to informal children's play, meeting of parents with babies, dog owners, and older folk simply enjoying passive exercise and socialising. At dawn and dusk, the casuarinas, wattles, banksias and larger trees in the park house the tunes of parrots, wattle birds, magpies and some migratory birds.
Friends of Merindah Park welcome new members who wish to maintain a wildlife habitat of true and varied Australian bushland that is open and welcoming at all times.

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Other groups

Friends of Native Wildlife

Friends of Native Wildlife are a volunteer group that operates across the whole of Bayside studying native wildlife and interacting with other Friends groups to enhance the habitat for native wildlife.

Activities of the group include:

  • fauna monitoring and surveys, including bird, microbat, Rakali (native water rats), frog and bat surveys
  • ongoing contributions to databases of local wildlife
  • night time outings to spot nocturnal wildlife
  • participation in habitat enhancement activities such as tree planting, weed control etc
  • organising and hosting special fauna events
  • educational sessions for schools, clubs and community groups

More information can be found on the Friends of Native Wildlife website

Arctic Jaeger by Lorraine Cameron

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Marine Care Ricketts Point

Marine Care Ricketts Point Inc is a volunteer group concerned with the well-being of the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary. It works in cooperation with Parks Victoria, us and many other interested groups. Active members are interested in such things as mapping the sanctuary, monitoring marine life, marine photography, education, surveillance and compliance, inter-organisational activity, surveys and the natural and human history of the area. The objective is to foster the regeneration of the once abundant plant and animal life so that a thriving marine environment is assured for the future.

For more information visit the MCRP website

Meadows by Ray Lewis

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Port Phillip Eco Centre

The Eco Centre is a not-for-profit, community-managed, environment group. The Eco Centre provides a base for a number of affiliate groups involved in a range of activities that promote biodiversity, environmental sustainability and community action.

For more information vist the Eco Centre website

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Page last updated: 20 Jan 2015