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The Macclesfield Bushcare Group has been caring for the native vegetation in the Council reserves around Macclesfield for over two decades.

Macclesfield is fortunate to have retained patches of existing bush in an area where over 90% of the pre-European vegetation has been cleared. However the extent of clearance means that remnant vegetation is invaded with exotic weeds and many of our bird and fauna species are in decline.

The Bushcare group is involved in caring for the areas of the remnant vegetation in the Council reserves in Macclesfield. This involves careful weed control using minimal disturbance weed control methods in areas of high biodiversity, and in planting local indigenous species in areas that are more highly degraded. It is pleasing to see these areas improving over time and providing improved habitat for local fauna.

The Bushcare Group holds a working bee 9 - 11am on the first Sunday of each month in one of the reserves. If you would like to join us contact: Sue Bradstreet sbrad@hotkey.net.au or Anne Welsh welshanne1@gmail.com


The Macclesfield Bushcare Group thanks the following for their support:
• Mount Barker District Council
• The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, and the Federal government for grant funding
• Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Assoc.
• Angas River Catchment Group
• Trees for Life

and all the volunteers who have contributed to the group and enhancement of the parklands over the years.


Macclesfield Reserves

Davenport Square

Davenport Square is an open grassed reserve in the centre of Macclesfield containing a stage, a children’s playground, electric barbecues, toilets, paths and exercise equipment. Over the years since European settlement it has been used for many purposes: as saleyards in the early years, and as a place to hold church services, sports activities, school concerts, Christmas carols, and the annual Strawberry Fete.

The Davenport Square gardens were planted by the community as a contribution to health, well being and biodiversity. They contain local native plants which support our native fauna including, White Fan – flower (Scaevola albida), Matted Bush-pea (Pultanaea pedunculata), Muntries (Kunzea pomifera), White Everlasting (Chrysocephalum baxteri), Black-anther Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta), and Hard Mat–rush (Lomandra multiflora ssp.dura)

Battunga Creek, a tributary of the Angas River crosses the north eastern corner. A number of exotic trees have been removed and native species planted to contribute to improving the health and fauna habitat of the river.

The Day Paddock Park 8 ha

The Day Paddock Park contains high quality native vegetation in a region where this has been extensively cleared. It consists of a Blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon), Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis spp. cygnetensis), Pink gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa) open woodland over acacias, leptospermum, native sedge, lily and native grass understorey. Until about 1990 the area was grazed. The Buschare group started work in the park in 1996 controlling gorse and other weeds and assisting restoration of the indigenous vegetation.

Leptospermum myrsinoides and Chamaescilla corymbosa

Although there is still plenty of gorse in the reserve over 50 percent of the gorse has been carefully removed, pushing back the gorse weed fronts and making sure that all new seedlings are removed in the recovering areas which has enabled the native species to regenerate. The group is also attempting to control and remove the very invasive Pentaschistis grass and carefully remove the Freesias from the best vegetation. This is a daunting task throughout the rest of the reserve.

Each visit to the reserve reveals new changes – large trees die and new ones replace them, acacia seedlings reach a mature height, different plants come into flower at different times and always the weeds are getting less and the native plants are recovering to thrive again. The Macclesfield School is involved in patrolling for Monadenia, and breeding Bridal Creeper leaf hoppers and Gorse spider-mite for biological control of these weeds.

The Night Paddock 5.5 ha

The Night Paddock Park is managed by the Macclesfield Community Association and used for agistment. The river section was fenced in 2005 by the Macclesfield Community Association, the agistment removed, and a walking trail established.

The river section is now managed by the Bushcare Group. It contains a Blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon), Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis spp. Cygnetensis), and Red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) open woodland with a native grass understorey. The Bushcare Group planted native species to control erosion and enhance habitat along the creek and assists in controlling the weeds. The trees and shrubs that were planted in 2007 are now mature providing habitat for local birds and other fauna. The Macclesfield Primary School has also undertaken planting in the reserve. Weeds are less and are being monitored and controlled. The established walking track is well used with benches and a picnic table to rest at.

Lord Robinson/ Crystal Lake Park 18 ha

The park contains Red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), Blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) and Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis spp. cygnetensis) woodland over an understorey of native grasses. The river section was fenced by the Macclesfield Community Association in 2006, the agistment removed, and a walking trail and interpretative signage established.

Since 2005 an on-going control program has been undertaken to remove the willow and ash trees along the Angas River in the park with a grant through the Angas River Catchment Group in 2005, a Commonwealth Envirofund Grant through the Macclesfield Community Association in 2007, and a Caring for Country Grant in 2013.

The Bushcare Group, community volunteers and GreenCorps and Green Army teams have planted over 3000 native trees, shrubs and groundcovers, removed 2 hectares of gorse and a hectare of broom as well as undertake an on-going weed control program. Riparian species including Carex tereticaulis , Cladium procerum, Carex fasicularis, and Leptosperumum lanigerum have been planted along the river and the rare species Montia australicia grows in the swamp area. In 2014 and subsequent years additional plantings were undertaken at National Tree Day events organised by Mt Barker Council involving students from the Macclesfield Primary school with on-going maintence by Bushcare volunteers particularly by Anne and Dave Welsh.

Montia australicia

In 2022 a grant from the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board enabled interpretive signage outlining the natural and cultural features of the area, to be developed by the Bushcare Group in partnership with Peramangk custodians and the Macclesfield Community Association. The sign was opened by the Minister for Environment Susan Close at the Nature Festival in October 2022.

It is pleasing to see the park providing habitat for a wide range of bird species, the native fish mountain galaxias, the Rakali or native water rat, echidnas and kangaroos, and that the native swamp rat has now made its home by the river.

The Gummy Track

The Gummy Track contains remnant native vegetation consisting of Pink gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa) open woodland over dense Xanthorrhoea semiplana. It provides a linking wildlife corridor and walking track between larger areas of native vegetation. Occasional grant funding is obtained to assist with weed control in this area including blackberry, wild rose, gorse, bridal creeper and watsonia.

The Cemetery Reserve

This area of highly diverse native vegetation is surviving without much attention. In 2012 money contributed as off-sets from the Targa Car Rally enabled the Trees For Life Works team to return to the northern fence line to remove broom which had grown to mature plants again after the Bushcare Group had removed them almost 2 decades ago. Time was also spent patrolling the northern section for other woody weeds. Very few were found but the diversity of native plants is prolific. Contract funding in recent years has enabled further woody weed removal. The Bushcare Group undertakes an annual patrol for monadenia in the reserve.

Stone Reserve

Portion of the park was originally a stone quarry which was then used as a rubbish dump and is now an open grassed area. The park contains Blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) and Messmate stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) over a diverse understory of sedges, herbaceous groundcovers, lilies and orchids which are thriving in some parts of the reserve. This reserve contains the only Acacia spinescens in the Macclesfield area. It will be an exciting challenge to return other parts of the reserve to this diversity.

Until 2012 the significance of the vegetation in Stone Reserve on Davis Road was underestimated and with limited volunteer resources it was not a priority, but with a Federal grant, support from the Council, the Trees For Life Bush For Life programme and neighbours willing to start looking after the area, funds could be committed to begin weed removal there. It is cared for by local volunteers.