Mornington Peninsula Shire manages over 250 bushland reserves, covering nearly 2000 hectares, across the Mornington Peninsula.
These remnant areas of bushland, including sections of foreshore and roadside reserves, provide an important refuge for the peninsula’s diverse range of plants and animals. They are also places where residents can spend time in nature and enjoy a range of recreational activities. Most weekends across the peninsula, volunteers work together with the Shire to protect many of these reserves as part of a friends group.
Visit my neighbourhood or our parks and reserves directory to explore some of the bushland reserves near you.
Biodiversity Conservation in Bushland Reserves
The Shire’s bushland reserves are managed to protect and enhance biodiversity through the implementation of carefully planned activities including weed control, feral animal management, habitat enhancement, volunteer support, and revegetation. These activities aim to reduce impact of threats to biodiversity posed by environmental weeds, feral animals and habitat loss. Bushland reserves are also managed to minimize the impact of bushfire.
Some key biodiversity conservation activities undertaken by the Shire in our bushland, foreshore and roadside reserves include:
Staged removal of habitat-changing weeds like Polygala in foreshore reserves and Sweet Pittosporum in forest and woodland ecosystems.
Working with Melbourne Water and friends groups to control environmental weeds that impact on our creek ecosystems, such as Blackberry, Tradescantia and Spiny Rush.
Eliminating high threat noxious weeds Chilean Needle Grass and Serrated Tussock, both of which are only known from a few locations on the Mornington Peninsula.
Working collaboratively with other land managers in the region to undertake feral animal management programs to protect threatened species including the Swamp Skink, Australasian Bittern, White-footed Dunnart and Southern Brown Bandicoot.
Weed control to protect and enhance the diversity in Grassy Woodland vegetation across the northern peninsula. Grassy Woodland is one of the most species-rich ecosystems in temperate Australia.
Tree banding in bushland reserves in Mt Eliza and Mt Martha to protect important large old eucalypt trees from over-browsing by possums.
Conduct annual monitoring to find and eliminate Sicilian Sea Lavender, a high impact noxious weed threatening internationally significant Ramsar wetlands of Westernport.
Carry out planned burns to achieve multiple benefits such as promoting the regeneration of fire dependent species, maintaining healthy vegetation communities, and reducing fuel.
Friends Groups in Bushland Reserves
Friends groups are community members who volunteer their time to protect and enhance the biodiversity values in bushland reserves through activities such as weed control, revegetation, applying for grants and undertaking citizen science projects. Most weekends across the peninsula, friends group volunteers come together at working bees in their local bushland reserve.
The Shire works closely with over 40 friends groups across the Mornington Peninsula, providing support at working bees, training, advice and equipment. To find a friends group near you, Contact Natural Systems Team on 1300850 600.