19th September 2021
A group of 18 members met at the property of Neale and Angela, “Echidna Ridge”, in the Bullcreek Range, which they had purchased in 2012. We enjoyed a lovely morning tea in their rammed earth, fire proof home. Neale’s beautiful wildlife photos were on display for purchase. He also does guided walks of his property and Angela is a wildlife carer and they have built enclosures for rescued brush-tailed possums.
We were joined by Craig and Renate from neighbouring properties who gave us a presentation on the Prospect Hill Bushland Group. This group of “like minded” neighbours with Heritage properties (800 acres total), have regular working bees, working together to protect and improve their bushland properties. Eradication of weeds was their first priority. The removal of blackberry, broom and gorse allowing the native plant species and wildlife to recover. They are fortunate to have many skillsets amongst them and are well supported by the Goolwa‑Wellington LAP, with grants from State and Federal and NGO groups.
The area is Stringy Bark Forest with much of it regrowth since the Ash Wednesday Fire in 1983. They have identified many rare and endangered species of plants, including rare orchids, and are now forming their own seed bank. They are also involved in echidna awareness, protection of the Western pygmy possums, feral control, “Fungi Foray” and Bioblitz programmes.
The group then split for two walks, finding many Donkey and Greenhood orchids. Lunch completed the morning visit.
Prospect Hill Museum – “A treasure trove of history and memorabilia”
The Museum comprises several historic buildings with exhibits depicting the life of the early pioneers. The Ann Russell home was built in 1872 by George Griggs and served as the general store and post office. Of note are the redgum slab floors, and of particular interest among the furnishings was an artwork made with human hair. In 1983 the Ash Wednesday fires destroyed the town. The fire reached the laundry of the homestead but the building was saved.
Members roamed the various buildings exploring, The Ash Wednesday exhibition, Scout, RSL, CWA exhibits, Blacksmiths shop, School, Dairy Museum, Shepherds Hut and Machinery Shed.
The campers finished off an enjoyable day with a lovely dinner at the Yankalilla Hotel.