Call out to protect ‘lost world’

Roger McGlashan at the Holden Flora Reserve in Sunbury (Supplied: Oliver Lees) 238765_02

By Oliver Lees

A community group rehabilitating the Holden Flora Reserve in Sunbury is in need of more volunteers to keep out with the “constant” workload.

Friends of Holden Flora Reserve president Roger McGlashan said the area represents a significant environmental corridor but is lesser known by the community.

“This particular reserve is a bit of a lost world,” he said, while driving his four-wheel drive toward Harpers Creeks, which runs through the reserve before joining Jacksons Creek.

“It doesn’t get the glamour of a Yarra Ranges National Park or the Grampians, but it is one of the biggest areas of parkland near Melbourne.

“You can see some magnificent old eucalyptus here and big mobs of kangaroos, as well as swamp wallabies.

“My aim is to get as many trees in the ground as possible.”

Located at the end of Stratford Close in Sunbury, the entrance to the Holden Flora Reserve looks out toward a large escarpment and 96 hectares of reserve land, including Eighnane Valley, which in the 19th century housed an award-winning vineyard.

The reserve is officially managed by Parks Victoria, who consult with local indigenous organisations, Melbourne Water and Friends of Holden Flora Reserve.

Mr McGlashan leads the Friends of Holden Flora Reserve volunteer team that works to clear invasive weeds and plant indigenous flora along Jacksons Creek.

He said although he was proud of the work his organisation has done in the reserve, their operations are regularly “hamstrung”.

“We are hamstrung in that we are only a friends group, we act as a voice for the reserve but we don’t have authority,” Mr McGlashan said.

“Volunteering is increasingly complex too, people have so many commitments and most of our volunteers are transient.”

Mr McGlashan added his organisation was involved in negotiations regarding the Sunbury south Precinct Plan which will see a bridge and ring road built across the escarpment in the reserve to connect Lancefield Road and Vineyard Road.

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