Beneath the lofty eucalyptus winds a gravel trail over six hectares within the Charles & Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve at Highfields. A jog or walk amidst the Aussie bushland is a revitalising start to the day. You will be greeted by melodious birdsong, a drop in temperature and maybe the occasional school child. The park is home to varieties of birds including pale-headed rosellas, king parrots, corellas, kookaburras and rainbow lorikeets. There is one main trail with some smaller trails branching off.
The land was donated for use as a reserve in 1993 by Charles and Motee Rogers. It is classified as an endangered ecosystem. Plants you can find in the park include varieties of vines, woodland and other species of eucalyptus, Bailey's Cypress, Oleander Wattle, Bunya Pine and Red Olive Plum. Wildlife attracted to the plants includes king parrots, butterflies, black cockatoos, koalas and many others. Click the link for a full listing of plants, trees and wildlife; with beautiful photos.
Cross section of trees including a Golden Wattle in bloom.
The locals are proud of their 'Land for Wildlife' nature reserve and are keen to maintain its natural beauty. To get the park into an excellent condition, the Friends of the Escarpment Parks are always on the lookout for able-bodied volunteers to join their working bees. At 9am on the first Friday of the month, a group of around seven people of all ages clear the walking trail of any weeds (including lantana) and litter. Removing these also helps reduce the risk of fire. Everyone is welcome to join the clean-up team, which has been operating for six years.
The main aim of the working bees is to give the reserve an ideal walking trail and they've done a great job, but with more work to be done. All they need are more volunteers to help. You could expect to work for no longer than two hours at the most. Children are welcome, particular if they have an interest in environmental management. If you have any safety concerns, be advised that no team members have ever encountered a snake in the park.
Brisk, fresh air at this time of year (late winter to spring) and an easy walk, make this a refreshing place. In spots, the gravel trail is only dirt and gets muddy after rain. Recently planted by the Friends of Highfields Library, is the 'Bill Mollison Memorial Tree', a gum tree to honour the 'father of permaculture' (1928 to 2016).
The Charles & Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve is worth seeing, even if just for a rest and refresh stop if you are touring the attractions of the region, such as the Ravensbourne Reserve and lakes.
The main entrance to the park is adjacent to the library. There are two other access points in Polzin St. If you're interested in volunteering to keep the park's trails clear, phone 0402 183 087 or 0418 748 282. Wear sunscreen, a hat, closed-in shoes and bring drinking water when you volunteer. Groups are welcome, such as school or church groups, but please call ahead to let them know you're coming.
To get there, turn off the New England Highway onto Highfields Rd, turn onto O'Brien Rd then left at Sean McCarthy Way. Parking is in the Cultural Centre carpark.