University revamps nature trails

October 2, 2012

Neil Goldsborough from the Murdoch Environmental Restoration Group on one of the trails

Murdoch University has revamped walking trails through the Banksia Woodland reserve on its campus and spring is the ideal time to give them a try.

Wildflowers are currently in bloom on the three looping trails which are located at the southern end of the campus and can be accessed from Campus Drive, near Somerville Baptist College.

Grants from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) have paid for new signage and flyers for the eight hectare reserve and its paths were officially opened by Murdoch’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Professor David Morrison on Friday.

Leah Knapp, Murdoch University’s Sustainability Officer, said the reserve is unique in the region because it had retained much of its soil structure and native plant diversity.

“It was logged for native timber and used for grazing but it was never part of the pine plantations which characterised other parts of the Murdoch campus,” she said.

“The land was first used by the Nyungar Whadjuk people to move between the freshwater lakes and wetlands of the region. They hunted and gathered a huge diversity of plants and animals to be used for food, medicine, shelter, tools and utensils.

“We have attempted to reflect that history along the trails, with the interpretive signs telling the stories of how Nyungar people used the plants and animals of the region, as well as explaining the native flora and fauna of the Banksia Woodland and the conservation challenges and ecological issues of the area.”

Walkers have three paths to choose from: Koorloo which is 1.2km long, Poolgarla and Ngoolark which are both 1km long. They were originally constructed in 1994 and the University has since conducted significant environmental restoration projects to protect the woodland’s biodiversity values in conjunction with the Murdoch Environmental Restoration Group.

The Murdoch branch of the Wildflower Society will be staging occasional guided walks through the trails and can be contacted directly for details.
An informal parking area is available off Campus Drive close to the entrance to the footpaths.

For more information on the trail or to volunteer with Murdoch University’s environmental restoration projects, contact Ms Knapp on 9360 6361 or

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Media contact: Jo Manning
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