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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Westerfolds Park

Westerfolds Park is a large (130 hectares) area in the outer eastern suburb of Templestowe, only 15 km from the Melbourne CBD.

Prior to European settlement, the area was originally part of the Wurundjeri tribe territory. The area which is now Westerfolds Park was purchased from the Crown in 1846 and had an unremarkable history until the Turner family bought the property in the early 1930s and built the Manor in 1936.

By the 1950s the growing population had pushed most of the large-scale farmers and orchardists out of the surrounding area, but residential and industrial development did not occur in the river valley, mainly because of the threat of flooding.

Westerfolds was salvaged from suburban development and added to the Yarra Valley Parklands in 1977. In 1978, due to growing community interest in the environment and a demand for areas of open space to pursue passive recreation, Melbourne Parks and Waterways (later Parks Victoria) began to manage and develop the land into Westerfolds Park.

The park has become a haven for wildlife. Parrots, cockatoos, kookaburras, water birds and small bush birds can be seen, along with bats, platypus, wombats, koalas, possums, and even Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Since the days of European settlers and timber cutters, thousands of native trees have been planted, native grassland and bush conserved and wetlands reinstated.

Today, a blend of Eucalypts, Acacias, grasses and shrubs provide a natural environment - over 400 species native to the area have been recorded.

The pictures were taken on March 19, 2007, during a 5 km exploratory hike.

The full photo album is at

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