Nature’s healing plain to see

Daryl Kellet and Chris Poynter, of the Friends of Black Hill Reserve committee. Picture: Joe Mastroianni

One of the Macedon Ranges’ most significant nature reserves will reopen eight months after a fire burnt close to 90 per cent of its bushland.

Wildlife populations were also ravaged by January’s blaze at Kyneton’s Black Hill Reserve.

But a major rehabilitation effort, involving the Friends of Black Hill Reserve, council staff, Landcare groups and prisoners, has given nature a helping hand.

Friends president Daryl Kellet says trees and grass are resprouting and native animals returning to the reserve, which is also known for its giant granite rocks and boulders.

About 80 nesting boxes destroyed by the fire are being replaced with the help of Kyneton Men’s Shed, while Loddon prisoners and young people from the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre have been involved in projects, including the replacement of picnic tables.

‘‘It’s been a real community effort,’’ Mr Kellet says. ‘‘It’s going to take some time to get back to what it was, but it will get there.’’

There had not been a bushfire at the reserve for 70 years.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson is encouraging people to attend a free celebration at the reserve on September 12.

The event will include a welcome to country ceremony, a barbecue and guided tours.

‘‘We’re proud of what’s been achieved and looking forward to celebrating the wonder of this natural bushland on its reopening,’’ the mayor says.

Details: 5421 9674