On Sunday 30 July more than 80 community members came together at the Pt Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve to plant approximately 600 local, native species to celebrate National Tree Day. The day was hosted by Bellarine Bayside in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong and the Friends of Pt Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve Group. The planting, coinciding with Planet Ark National Tree Day, aimed to support the broader conservation work undertaken in the reserve that has resulted in significant improvements to the biodiversity of the site over the last decade.

Coastal Projects Officer Leia Howes said that "much of the work currently undertaken at the reserve continues the work initiated by the Friends Group. Their passion, dedication and continued support has been invaluable to the reserve and Bellarine Bayside, and days like today are an excellent way to thank them for their work."

In addition to the planting activity there was a native plant display, and the kids enjoyed several environment-focused activities, while local twitcher, Wayne Long, gave an informative bird watching presentation and lead a guided walk through the reserve where we were lucky enough to spot a grey goshawk on our walk. Wayne’s talk highlighted the connection between the days planting activity and the reserve's important role in providing critical habitat for local fauna including numerous bird species. 

The day also presented an opportunity for Bellarine Bayside to showcase the reserve and its many new additions including a series of educational signs scattered along the four main walking trails. The signs highlight the history and ecological value of the reserve and aim to increase environmental awareness, providing the community with a living classroom. The new signage, walk brochure, picnic shelter and seats provide areas for recreation within the reserve to increase usage by the local community. The works carried out within the reserve are proudly supported by a Bendigo Bank community grant, Bellarine Catchment Network and the Friends of Pt Richards Group.

If you would like know more about the reserve or would like to join the Friends group, please contact Bellarine Bayside for more information. Make sure you pop on down to the Pt Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve and explore the beautiful, natural environment that exists here right on our doorstep.