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Posts tagged ‘conservation’

Weekend Wanderings – Revisiting Banyule

My grant application has been in for a couple of weeks, and this last Thursday I joined the Warringal Conservation Society. Then this morning I was trying to work out what to put in the post today and thinking about all the photos of Banyule that I have taken since the beginning of the year, especially as I have Social Snappers excursion there this afternoon. So today, I thought I would go through those photos and make a selection and show them again.  I hope you don’t mind.


There is lots of evidence or remains in this area which says it used to be farming land.  Everyone who lives around here knows that, but it has been interesting, especially since my involvement with the WCS, how much of it was farmland until the 1970’s.  I know that the house I live in was once in the middle of a paddock, and paintings by some of the Heidelberg School show that.  I think it is interesting that it was once bushland, converted to farmland, and now is all set to be bushland again, well if the developers don’t get their way.


One of the biggest threats to this area is the North East Freeway.  In Australia it seems that roads and freeways are more important than anything else, and “we must have as many as we can.  It is important that there are roads everywhere because the only way people can travel is by car.  Public Transport, bite your tongue”.  Well, that is how our government seems to be.  Caring for the environment and what we have always seems to be secondary, or thirdary, I don’t know, a long way down on the list.  Part of the reason for starting to document Banyule Flats and some of the surrounding parkland was, hopefully, to draw more attention to what we are trying to conserve here.


Really, in a nut shell, this is the main part of it.  This beautiful wetlands that is accessible to anyone who wants to visit it.  Anyone who cares about the environment and want to find some peaceful place in a city that is becoming very fast.


Shall we put some perspective on this.  Melbourne is a big city, not necessarily in population, but in land mass.  Everyone wants their quarter acre, so Melbourne has spread out, and spread out a lot.  It is becoming one of the largest cities in the world due to the size of it, or geographically.  It spans 100km from East to West, I suspect more North to South, but not sure.  Still that gives you an idea.  So one of things that makes Banyule Flats so unique is that from the city centre we are only around 15kms from it. Which means there is this amazing parkland, with lots of wildlife, only a 30 minute drive from the city, there is public transport and a train to Heidelberg will get you here in about the same time.


This is parkland, but it isn’t manicured parkland.  There are parks everywhere in the city, but this one is more special because it is about the land returning to its original state and being bushland again.  It is a place where you can go walking, and you might see kangaroos, at night you will see wombats.  There is an abundance of birdlife in and around the swamp. It is a place that is like an oasis in the middle of suburbia.  I don’t know how many times people come to visit me for the first time and they can’t believe where we are, it is like we live in the country, though we don’t.

My grant application is about producing something that will help people understand how beautiful this area is, hopefully, if I get it, I will produce a book on the area, something that will include the history and what the area is significant.  Development isn’t always the answer, and sometimes it is great to just let things be, for now and in the future.

I have a gallery with some of my favourite photos taken since February. They show the different seasons, different times of the day, and just how beautiful it is.  I hope you all agree that conservation is good and think about what you can help conserve in your local area.  I’m looking forward to taking more photos there this afternoon with my Social Snappers group, explore some areas I haven’t been to for awhile.

Friday’s Bits and Bobs

It has been such a busy week, and I vaguely remember some of it.  It does seem to have gone by so quickly.  The weather has improved a lot, which has been great.  We are seeing the sun a lot more, and while there is still more rain predicted, we can see signs that spring isn’t too far away.


The big thing I have been working on is a grant proposal.  My local council, Banyule City Council often have grants available for people to apply for.  I have put one in for an Environmental Sustainability Grant to produce a book on Banyule Flats.

banyule-flats-morning-reflections-waterI have spoken before about the area that I live in, and shown you so many photos, that I continue to take, and it is an amazing area, or space.  We are only 13 or 15 kilometres from the city centre, yet if you drive around here you would think you were in  a country town a long way from any city.  Unfortunately this area is under threat, and the state government wants to put a freeway through the area.  No one is really sure where, but Banyule Flats is an obvious place for it.

For the last few months I have been going into Banyule Flats and taking photos of it to show you. I thought if I could use this blog to help show the world, or whatever part of the world you are from of seeing what is around me, that I could help protect the area.  I ambanyule-flats-sunrise-reflection-morning still not sure exactly what I am hoping to achieve, but connecting with a larger audience can’t hurt.  Doing books on particular areas is something else that I would like to do, and when I saw that grant applications were open, I thought it could be good to see if could apply for one.

My grant proposal is about the stewardship of this area, hopefully protecting it for future generation.  However, if the freeway does go ahead, then it will also be a record of what we have lost, and what the local community, who have put a lot of work into the area, have also lost. I won’t find out for a couple of months if I have received it.  It has been an interesting experience doing it, and something I might try to do again.

Warringal Conservation Society

Through my grant proposal I have also come into contact with the Warringal Conservation Society.  A group of people who are concebanyule-flats-summer-swampland-dryrned about the conservation of our local area.  It has been wonderful to meet people who care so much about our environment.  I have been out with a couple of members now, and I have learned so much more about the history of the area, and more so about what is there.  It is weird how you can build a connection to a place and the stewardship of that area becomes so very important. I have my membership form filled out and hope to become a member myself soon.

banyule-flats-sunset-waterMoving Days Around

I don’t have much more to say today, but there is something I wanted to discuss with you.  The other day I asked for people to send me proposals for guest posting. The response was great, and I have quite a few lined up. One of the conditions I have is that people who guest post should also respond to the comments, it gives me a day off. Which can be great, but if I don’t have a guest blogger, and I do the post, then I can spend all day responding to comments.  It is also the day I get MM ready, so the day can be a bit hectic.  I would like more distance between the two, and was thinbanyule-flats-night-moonlightking of changing it, so that today’s post would become Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs, and Friday’s post would become the Up for Discussion posts.  I wanted to hear what you thought about it though.  I like to think you are all part of this, so let me know how you would feel about this change.

Just want to finish today by letting you know that the photos in today’s post have all been taken around Banyule Flats this year, at various times.