Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. A0034887B  Victoria

 

Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary

 

This quarter hectare Heathland Sanctuary on the north side of Gramatan Avenue, Beaumaris, (Melway 86C6), about 50 metres east of Haydens Road (1-3 Gramatan Avenue), is a Bayside City Council reserve that protects over 50 species of indigenous heathland plant (Silky Heath community). It was established at the instigation of the Beaumaris Conservation Society (then named Beaumaris Tree Preservation Society), which leased it and managed it for its first 30 years as a Sanctuary. See the History of the Sanctuary below. 

It is representative of the extensive areas of such heathland that existed around the reserve shortly before it was established in the 1950s. A list and descriptions of the plants, both indigenous and exotic, are available at the nearby Beaumaris Municipal Library (Corner of Gramatan Avenue and Reserve Road - Melway 86D6).  Many of the plants can be bought at the Bayside Community Plant Nursery.

Examples from Appendix 1 of "The Vegetation and Management of Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary, City of Sandringham, Victoria" by Mr Geoffrey W.Carr et al. for the former City of Sandringham, March 1991, are:

 

INDIGENOUS  PLANTS IN THE GRAMATAN AVENUE HEATHLAND SANCTUARY, BEAUMARIS, 1990

COMMON NAME

BOTANICAL FAMILY

GENUS & SPECIES

COMMENTS

 

DICOTYLEDONS

 

 

Karkalla

Aizoaceæ

Carpobrotus rossii

 

Twiggy Daisy-bush

Asteraceæ

Olearia ramulosa

 

Rough Fire-weed

Asteraceæ

Senecio hispidulus

 

Green Sheoke

Casuarinaceæ

Allocasuarina paradoxa

Significant species in that it is seriously depleted in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area

Bundled Guinea-flower

Dilleniaceæ

Hibbertia prostrata

Significant species in that it is seriously depleted in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area

Silky Guinea-flower

Dilleniaceæ

Hibbertia sericea

Bright yellow flowers

Common Heath

Epacridaceæ

Epacris impressa

Victoria's Floral Emblem, but with white rather than pink bell-shaped flowers. Flowers in June and July.

Coast Beard-heath

Epacridaceæ

Leucopogon parviflorus

White flowers and sweet edible berries

Common Beard-heath

Epacridaceæ

Leucopogon virgatus

White flowers

Prickly Broom-heath

Epacridaceæ

Monotoca scoparia

 

Wedding Bush

Euphorbiaceæ

Ricinocarpus pinifolius

Significant species in that it is seriously depleted in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area

Broom Spurge

Euphorbiaceæ

Amperea xiphoclada

 

Common Aotus

Fabaceæ

Aotus ericoides

Significant species in that it is seriously depleted in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area

Showy Bossiaea

Fabaceæ

Bossiaea cinerea

Significant species in that it is seriously depleted in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area

Smooth Parrot-pea

Fabaceæ

Dillwynia glaberrima

Red and yellow flowers

Common Wedge-pea

Fabaceæ

Gompholobium huegelii

Significant species in that it is seriously depleted in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area

Common Flat-pea

Fabaceæ

Platylobium obtusangulum

Red and yellow flowers

Slender Dodder-laurel

Lauraceæ

Cassytha glabella

 

Downy Dodder-laurel

Lauraceæ

Cassytha pubescens

 

Coast Wattle

Mimosaceæ

Acacia sophorae

Yellow flowers

Prickly Tea-tree

Myrtaceæ

Leptospermum continentale

White flowers

Coast Tea-tree

Myrtaceæ

Leptospermum laevigatum

White flowers

Heath Tea-tree

Myrtaceæ

Leptospermum myrsinoides

White flowers

Love Creeper

Polygalaceæ

Comesperma volubile

 

Silver Banksia

Proteaceæ

Banksia marginata

Flowers form in large yellow cones

Common Correa

Rutaceæ

Correa reflexa

 

 

MONOCOTYLEDONS

 

 

Little Club-sedge

Cyperaceæ

Isolepsis marginata

 

Sand-hill Sword-sedge

Cyperaceæ

Lepidosperma concavum

 

Variable Sword-sedge

Cyperaceæ

Lepidosperma laterale

 

Wire Rapier-sedge

Cyperaceæ

Lepidosperma semiteres

 

Short Purple-flag

Iridaceæ

Patersonia fragilis

 

Toad Rush

Juncaceæ

Juncus bufonius

 

Milkmaids

Liliaceæ

Burchardia umbrellata

 

Pale Grass-lily

Liliaceæ

Caesia parviflora

 

Black-anther Flax-lily

Liliaceæ

Dianella revoluta

 

Twining Fringe-lily

Liliaceæ

Thysanotus patersonii

 

Wallflower Orchid

Orchidaceae

Diuris corymbosa

 

Slender Onion-orchid

Orchidaceæ

Microtis parviflora

 

Common Onion-orchid

Orchidaceæ

Microtis unifolia

 

Slender Sun-orchid

Orchidaceæ

Thelymitra pauciflora

 

Coast Blown-grass

Poaceæ

Agrostis billardieri

 

Bristly Wallaby-grass

Poaceæ

Danthonia setacea

 

Reed Bent-grass

Poaceaæ

Deyeuxia quadriseta

 

Long-hair Plume-grass

Poaceæ

Dichelachne crinita

 

Weeping Grass

Poaceæ

Microlaena stipoides

 

Supple Spear-grass

Poaceæ

Stipa mollis

 

Tassel Rope-rush

Restionaceæ

Hypolaena fastigiata

 

Small Grass-tree

Xanthorrhoeaceæ

Xanthorrhoea minor

Significant species in that it is seriously depleted in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area

 

 

 

 

EXOTIC PLANTS IN THE GRAMATAN AVENUE HEATHLAND SANCTUARY, BEAUMARIS, 1990

 

DICOTYLEDONS

 

 

Ivy

Araiaceæ

Hedera helix

 

Cat's Ear

Asteraceæ

Hypochoeris radicata

 

Rough Sow-thistle

Asteraceæ

Sonchus asper

 

Milk Thistle

Asteraceæ

Sonchus oleraceus

 

Garden Dandelion

Asteraceæ

Taraxacum Sect. Vulgaria

 

Japanese Honeysuckle

Caprifoliaceæ

Lonicera japonica

 

Common Mouse-ear Chickweed

Caryophyllaceæ

Cerastium glomeratum

 

Four-leaved Allseed

Caryophyllaceæ

Polycarpon tetraphyllum

 

Chickweed

Caryophyllaceæ

Stellaria media

 

Wandering Jew

Commelinaceæ

Tradescantia fluminensis

 

Cluster Clover 

Fabaceæ

Trifolium  glomeratum

 

Creeping Wood-sorrell

Oxilidaceæ

Oxalis corniculata sensu stricto

 

Pink Shamrock

Oxilidaceæ

Oxalis corymbosa

 

Sweet Pittosporum

Pittosporaceæ

Pittosporum undulatum

 

Buck's-horn Plantain

Plantageniceæ

Plantago coronopus

 

New Zealand Creeper

Polygalaceæ

Muehlenbeckia complexa

 

Sheep  Sorrel

Polygonaceæ

Rumex acetosella spp. agg.

 

Fiddle Dock

Polygonaceæ

Rumex pulcher

 

Cotoneaster

Roseaceæ

Cotoneaster glaucophyllus

 

Cotoneaster

Roseaceæ

Cotoneaster pannosus

 

Apple

Roseaceæ

Malus domestica  (hybrid)

 

Cherry Plum

Roseaceæ

Prunus cerasifera

 

Plum

Roseaceæ

Prunus sp.

 

Blackberry

Roseaceæ

Rubus procerus

 

Mirror Bush

Rubiaceæ

Coprosma repens

 

Wall Speedwell

Scrophulariaceæ

Veronica arvensis

 

Pampas Lily-of-the-Valley

Solanaceæ

Salpichroa origanifolia

 

Black Nightshade

Solanaceæ

Solanum nigrum

 

Fragrant Violet

Violaceæ

Viola odorata

 

 

MONOCOTYLEDONS

 

 

New Zealand Cabbage Tree

Agavaceæ

Cordyline australis

 

Drain Flat-sedge

Cyperaceæ

Cyperus eragrostis

 

Freesia

Iridaceæ

Freesia leichtlinii

 

Smilax Asparagus  
(Bridal Creeper)

Liliaceæ

Myrsiphyllum asparagoides

 

Asparagus

Liliaceæ

Myrsiphyllum scandens

 

Brown top Bent

Poaceæ

Agrostis capillarus

 

Silvery Hair-grass

Poaceæ

Aira caryophyllea

 

Large Quaking-grass

Poaceæ

Briza maxima

 

Lesser Quaking-grass

Poaceæ

Briza minor

 

Prairie Grass

Poaceæ

Bromus catharticus

 

Great Brome

Poaceæ

Bromus diandrus

 

Couch (Quitch, Twitch)

Poaceæ

Cynodon dactylon

 

Summer Grass

Poaceæ

Digitaria sanguinalis

 

Panic Veldt Grass

Poaceæ

Ehrata erecta

 

Annual Veldt Grass

Poaceæ

Ehata longiflora

 

Yorkshire Fog

Poaceæ

Holcus lanatus

 

Hare's TAil

Poaceæ

Lagurus ovatus

 

Wimmera Rye-grass

Poaceæ

Lolium rigidum

 

 

HISTORY  

1939 The Dunlop Rubber Company had acquired a large area of undeveloped land in Beaumaris, which included the land that now forms the Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary. In August 1939 it announced a plan to use that land as a site for the relocation of its large factory at Port Melbourne factory to Beaumaris. The start of World War II a month later resulted in that plan being abandoned, and the land later offered for sale as suburban building allotments, although very few sold until some time after the end of World War II in 1945.

1944 The site of the Heathland Sanctuary was burnt in the large Beaumaris bushfire of January 1944 as shown in the map at the end of the CSIRO Report on that fire. Australian heathland areas generally suffer no long-term harm from such fires as the heath soon regrows, and it usually benefits from the loss of non-heath competing species that can occur in such fires.

1951 A 1951 Victorian Government Lands Department aerial photograph of Beaumaris shows the large extent of undisturbed bushland still around the land that now forms the Sanctuary. Town planning then did not provide for a reserve in Beaumaris to protect the local heathland flora, which was fast disappearing with housing development.

1953 The Beaumaris Conservation Society (BCS), which was formed as the Beaumaris Tree Preservation Society in 1953, and the Native Plants Preservation Society, whose Secretary, Miss Winifred Waddell, had earlier succeeded in having a smaller area of heathland further east opposite 32 Gramatan Avenue, now known as the Winifred Waddell Wildflower Sanctuary, reserved for flora protection, chose this site. They also mobilized public interest over several years to encourage the City of Sandringham to purchase it, for the purpose of establishing a Heathland Sanctuary, from the Dunlop Rubber Company, which still owned large numbers of undeveloped house blocks as a legacy of the abandoned 1939 plan referred to above. The Society was assisted by support from Professor John Turner (Professor of Botany at the University of Melbourne), Mr (later Dr) Jim Willis (Assistant Government Botanist), and Mr (later Sir) Robert Blackwood (then General Manager of the Dunlop Rubber Company and later the inaugural Chancellor of Monash University).

1957 The City of Sandringham purchased this site and proposed to leased it to BCS, which undertook the responsibility for its management and fencing. BCS paid for the original mesh wire fencing, which is similar to the present fence around the Sanctuary.

1960 A 30-year period (1960-90) began when Sandringham City Council leased the site, at £5 per year, to BCS. The lease period was ten years, and the original 10-year lease was thus renewed twice. BCS Inc. records include a copy of the lease. The Sanctuary is shown at the left side of a 1963 Lands Department aerial photograph some two-thirds of the way down.

1988 BCS asked the City of Sandringham to change the Sanctuary land from its "Residential" zoning under the Planning Scheme to a "Conservation" zoning.

1989 BCS asked the Minister for Planning and Environment to approve the proposal by the City of Sandringham for a "Conservation" zoning.

1990 At the conclusion of the third ten-year period for which BCS had maintained its original 1960 lease of the land from Sandringham City Council, the Council resumed management of the Sanctuary, commissioned the Carr Report (above) on the vegetation in the Sanctuary, and later voted unanimously to support a "Conservation" zoning to retain the reserve as a Sanctuary for the indigenous heathland flora of Beaumaris, and to manage it with help from the local community and BCS. A "Gramatan Avenue Heathland Sanctuary Management Plan", November 1993, was produced by that Council's Gramatan Avenue Sanctuary Working Party and edited by its then Conservation Officer, Ms Lisa Milley.

That 1990 intention has been realized now that Bayside City Council, which succeeded the former Sandringham City Council as owner of the land in 1994, adopted a Management Plan for the Sanctuary, which it is implementing. Bayside City Council has ensured that the Sanctuary is now Zoned "Public Conservation and Resource Zone" under the Bayside Planning Scheme and has a Vegetation Protection Overlay Schedule 2 applying to it under that Scheme.

TIMES OF OPENING

First Sunday each month in Spring, 2-4 p.m., or by appointment: Bayside Council Parks and Conservation.

Telephone (03) 9584 5255, Fax (03) 9598 4474.

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