Reserves and sanctuaries
The Black Rock and Sandringham foreshore features the iconic Red Bluff cliffs, indigenous coastal vegetation and habitat for native animals.
Members of the Black Rock and Sandringham Conservation Association (BRASCA) work to restore and preserve the coastal landscape and vegetation. They worked hard in 1969 to lobby Council against clearing the cliff-top vegetation near the Black Rock Yacht Club to make way for a paved car park.
Today, volunteers undertake preservation activities including weeding and planting, as well as participating in the many Council activities that are organised along the coastline.
Brighton Dunes/Jim Willis Reserve, Brighton
This one-kilometre stretch of indigenous coastal vegetation contains an ancient remnant dune system and an Australian Aboriginal 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, other birds and at least six species of skinks.
Ricketts Point Landside, Beaumaris
Ricketts Point Landside, which extends along Beach Road in Beaumaris for approximately 600 metres between Haydens and Reserve roads is the closest landside remnant Coastal Banksia (Banksia integrifolia) woodland to the city on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay. It boasts trees that 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.
Table Rock, Beaumaris
Table Rock is a foreshore reserve running from Rennison Street to Keys Street in Beaumaris. Friends of Table Rock volunteers actively work to help control the spread of weeds, especially Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides), while stabilising the cliff face along this part of the foreshore.
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. 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.
Volunteers work mainly below the cliffs, removing weeds such as Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens) and Veldt Grass (Ehrharta calycina), and in autumn and winter, planting indigenous species.
Balcombe Park, Beaumaris
Balcombe Park consists of 3.4 hectares of parkland, including a sporting oval surrounded on two sides with good examples of indigenous heathland floral species and communities.
A fire in 1991 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.
Bay Road Heathland Sanctuary, Sandringham
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 Thursdays and during the annual 'Spring Openings' and other special events.
Cheltenham Park Flora and Fauna Reserve, Cheltenham
Cheltenham Park Flora and Fauna Reserve is 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 successful controlled burn was carried out in 2006. 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.
Donald MacDonald Reserve, Beaumaris
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.
George Street Reserve, Sandringham
George Street Reserve contains 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).
Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary, Beaumaris
Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary located between Sunset and Gramatan Avenues in Beaumaris is Bayside’s smallest conservation reserve. Purchased by the former City of Sandringham 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.
Long Hollow Heathland, Beaumaris
The Long Hollow Heathland located south of the Beaumaris campus of the Sandringham Secondary College in Reserve Road 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.
Merinda Park, Sandringham
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.