Open afternoon at Mount Vandyke a big success

Last Saturday afternoon, the 14th of May 2022, we finally had the chance to slide open the brand new predator proof gates at Mt Vandyke and welcome over 60 NGT supporters, volunteers and donors, to see the site and talk about our progress, almost exactly 12 months since we first introduced this novel project and NGT’s private restoration reserve embedded inside the Cobboboonee National Park.

The day kicked off with a short introduction to the project, before we headed up to the summit of Mt Vandyke – the perfect vantage point to discuss the surrounding landscape, the role of this new safe haven and the bigger picture for threatened small mammals in western Victoria.

NGT’s Mark Bachmann introducing the project area inside the new predator proof fence, while overlooking the surrounding Cobboboonee forest from the summit of Mt Vandyke. Photo: Paula Thomson.

After a series of questions and discussion, attendees split into two groups and headed back down the hill.

Tom and I talked about the design and construction of the new fence, while Rose and Jono discussed the complex job of re-establishing something approaching the original native tussocky grassland and sedgeland previously found across the hill, which is formerly grazed farmland, inside our new fence. We are fortunate to have a few small reference areas within the National Park, just outside our fence, to help inform the restoration trials getting underway.

NGT’s Jonathan Tuck and Rose Thompson discuss grassland restoration in one of the reference areas adjacent to Mount Vandyke. Photo: Paula Thomson

From there it was back to the shed for a brief wrap up to discuss next steps, before enjoying afternoon tea and plenty of lively conversation among a wonderful group of people. Projects like this certainly stimulate a lot of very interesting discussion!

We have a few more steps to go before the site will be ready to host our target species of mammals inside the fence, but we’ve made huge strides in just 12 months. This would not have been possible without the support of many wonderful people and organisations – so once again, to everyone who has contributed in some way, thank you!

If you would like to read a bit more about the project so far, then you may enjoy having a look at the hand-out below which was given to attendees on the day.

Finally, if you would like to contribute towards the all-important next stages of the project at Mt Vandyke, then please feel free to contact Paula Thomson, by calling 0401 043 007, or by email.


We gratefully acknowledge that the project at Mount Vandyke is supported by:

Bushfire Recovery
for Wildlife and Habitat Community Grants Program

Mark Bachmann