It was windy and cold as our convoy of cars headed out to the Tothill Range property owned by Bushland Conservation. On to the dirt road and over the hill to enter the property, park and gather around to hear John Smyth, a shareholder and local resident (from Riverton) give us an excellent account of the formation of the company, Bushland Conservation, from the early 1970’s and the involvement of “Alfie” Hannaford in property here and on Kangaroo Island.

The company was helped by sympathetic lawyers and accountants, and a feature was pegging the price of shares to the consumer price index, rather than allowing market value. After lunch we went on a ramble over the property, noticing the large number of pristine Yacca plants and John’s descriptions of how amazingly old they are; some are hundreds of years old, very slow growing yet their flowering stalk is one of the fastest growing biological items!

We continued over the property, looking across to Robertstown, following the path of the high tension wires. John pointed out various plants, especially native pines which seemed to do well on the ridge. We drove to the top of the range and walked along very pleasantly out of the wind. We assembled about 2 pm to sign out and head for home, although John Boully, Fae and Jim were heading up the road to spend the night at John’s property.

We headed into Riverton to see the Hannaford statue, recently unveiled in front of the council building and to check out the Riverton Light Gallery but it was closed at 4 and it was 3:45! We headed back to Adelaide after a thoroughly pleasant day.

Brian Peat