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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Critchley Parker Jr. Forest Reserve - Upper Beaconsfield

The Critchley Parker Jr. Forest Reserve is a large area of preserved bushland in Upper Beaconsfield, 50 km east of Melbourne.

It was saved from development, and the land was subsequently purchased by Parks Victoria for public recreational use.

It was in this forest that 21 fire-fighters lost their lives in the disastrous Ash Wednesday bushfires which ravaged the area and the State on February 16, 1983. In the Upper Beaconsfield district, the fires destroyed 9200 hectares of public and private land, and 238 buildings were lost.

A beautifully constructed marble Memorial, listing the names of those who perished, is located on the Track not far from the northern entrance to the Reserve off St George's Rd.

The full photo set is at

There are two main circuit walking tracks in the Reserve, which wind their way down the valley, passing through extensive timber regrowth. The highest point is 193m - the lowest is 121m.

I explored the Reserve on August 22 2007, passing through areas of the forest which had recently been subject to fuel reduction operations, reflected by charred and blackened trees.

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