Winifred Curtis Scamander Reserve

Winifred Curtis Scamander Reserve


Posted 2021-06-22 by Roz Glazebrookfollow
I've been visiting Scamander for many years because my sister bought a beach house there about 25 years ago, but until my last visit in March this year, I had never been to the . I had driven past the Reserve every time I visited the town but never stopped.

It is just a couple of kilometres South of Scamander, directly opposite Upper Scamander Road. A Conservation Covenant between its Trustees and the Tasmanian Minister protects the 80-hectare reserve in perpetuity for parks and wildlife. It is managed by a not for profit trust.

Dr Geraldine Archer, who was a well-known Launceston Obstetrician for many years, owned the Reserve land. I used to work with her at the Queen Victoria Hospital years ago after I returned to Tasmania for a year after doing a midwifery course in Brisbane.

Dr Archer was a lifetime friend of Dr Curtis and when she died in 1992, she bequeathed 2,054 hectares of this land to be kept for the people of Tasmania. Donations and contributions from the Natural Heritage Trust have expanded the Reserve and it was named in honour of Dr Curtis because of her contribution to Botany in Tasmania.

Dr Winifred Curtis was a very distinguished Botanist who wrote five volumes on "The Student's Flora of Tasmania". She was born in London in 1905 and immigrated to Australia in 1939 after spending time in India. She died in Hobart in 2005, aged 100. She was Tasmania's most esteemed botanist.

A teaching laboratory at the University of Tasmania's School of Plant Science is named the 'Curtis Laboratory', and the 'Winifred Curtis Prize' is awarded annually to the student who demonstrates the greatest proficiency in first year Plant Science courses since 1990.

It was very quiet when we visited and we didn't see any other people. It was beautiful and relaxing. People can take dogs on leads into the Reserve. It is well signposted. We walked along the old coach road to the Ford, which took about an hour. There are seven kilometres of easy, walking tracks with lots of flowering plants in Spring. The reserve has sixteen different ecosystems.

There are signboards with maps and the history of the reserve at the entrance. The reserve incorporates dry sclerophyll bushland, marshland, wetland and duneland. It is the only such remnant of coastal vegetation in the Break O'Day Municipality largely untouched since European settlement in 1828.

Near the entrance, there was a memorial plaque to Nancy Grunwaldt, who was a 26 year old German woman who went missing in the area in 1993. Nancy was riding a pushbike around the state and was last seen at Beaumaris beach, the next beach along from Scamander Beach. I met some of her family when they used to come out regularly from Germany.

The reserve is known as one of the best small coastal reserves in Tasmania with an amazing variety of botanical species So if you are visiting the East Coast of Tasmania, it is well worth stopping and spending some time in the Winifred Curtis Reserve.

95793 - 2023-06-12 02:24:30


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