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Friday, June 11, 2010

Ferny Creek Bushland Reserve

Main Track

Red Fungi on Tan Track

Main Track
Entrance to Tan Track
The Ferny Creek Bushland Reserve, is a large area of preserved forest and cleared land, part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, within the Sassafras and Sherbrooke districts, 40 km east of the Melbourne CBD.

It adjoins the Ferny Creek Recreation Reserve.

It is locally known as "The Paddocks", a relatively unknown destination for hikers, and abuts the Burnham Beeches Historical Estate, and is used for horse magistment.

A gravelled walking track passes through the Reserve, accessed from the gate next to Burnham Beeches, off the Sherbrooke Rd.

This track ascends the Hill, and passes the Ferny Creek Horticultural Society Oenamental Garden Reserve,

It then descends to the Tan Track, at the west, which is then followed back to the start.

The Ferny Creek Horticultural Society was established in 1932. The three Hectare Ferny Creek Ornamental Garden Reserve is developed and maintained by the Society.

At the time of my visit, the Tan Track was under rehabilitation, as part of the continuing implementation of the Dandenong Ranges National Park Management Plan.

The land was transferred to Parks Victoria in 1997, which has advised that horse grazing will no longer be permitted.

However, horse riding will be allowed in the area, and on the Tan Track, which loops up through the mountain ash paddocks, but they would not be allowed to graze in the paddock because it was national park.

Since 1997, horses have continued to use the paddocks without any agreement from Parks Victoria as the land manager.

Parks has advised that horses grazing could have significant impact on native vegetation and biodiversity but says that are no plans to actively undertake any revegetation works in the paddock, with fire risk being managed via the fire operations plan.

Visitors currently walking dogs, riding horses and cycling on Lloyds Track, directly opposite, now classified as a conservation zone, will be directed to use the re-established Tan Track, but Lloyds Track will remain open to walkers.

I visited the Reserve on June 9, 2010, a bitterly cold and overcast day!

See all of the Photos of my visit!

Main Track

An article about the Reserve and the horse agistment issue, was published in the Maroondah/Yarra Ranges Journal, November 17, 2009, which may be viewed at

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