Andrew Yandell Habitat Reserve occupies just over 6 hectares and comprises about five hectares of remnant Box-Ironbark Forest, Valley Grassy Forest and Herb-rich Foothill Forest. It contains many beautiful indigenous plants, which you don’t often see in Melbourne as most of our natural bushland has been replaced by gardens composed entirely of exotic plants. 980m of well-defined walking tracks and some ‘goat tracks’ cut through the reserve, while the western side has numerous stairs connected to a concrete footpath.
This reserve is managed by the Banyule Bushland Management Unit, with assistance from local volunteers. If you are interested in helping out with management, you can join the Friends of Andrew Yandell Habitat Reserve.
Dogs and cats are not permitted in the reserve at any time.
Photograph supplied by Megan Lowe
Andrew Yandell was an active member of the Greenhills community, and a founding member of the Greenhills and North Greensborough Progress Association, which was formed in August 1945 to look after the interests of the area.
He instigated the request that Heidelberg City Council acquire the 15 acres of land as a nature reserve using some of the funds they received from the sale of the city’s gas works, with the reserve named in his honour.
Banyule Council acknowledges the Wurundjeri-willam people, the traditional custodians of Banyule.
Flora and Fauna
There are 206 species of indigenous plants within the reserve, with eight listed as rare or threatened in Victoria. Throughout the reserve, you can find many wildflowers such as Chocolate Lilies (Arthropodium strictum), Bulbine Lilies (Bulbine bulbosa), Early Nancy (Wurmbea diocia), Twining Fringe Lilies (Thysanotus patersonii), Yellow Rush-lilies (Tricoryne elatior) and a range of Greenhood orchids.
Andrew Yandell Habitat Reserve is environmentally significant at a state level, being one of the very few breeding grounds of the threatened Eltham Copper Butterfly (Paralucia pyrodiscus lucida). The butterfly has a unique symbiotic relationship with a species of Notoncus ant and the Sweet Bursaria plant (Bursaria spinosa), both indigenous to the area.
Adult butterflies lay their eggs on the stems of Sweet Bursaria shrubs and when the eggs hatch, the ants protect the caterpillars from predators, allowing them to feed on the Sweet Bursaria leaves at night. In return, caterpillars allow the ants to feed on the sugar secretions from their bodies. The Eltham Copper Butterflies emerge during summer and fly around the hill top.
Gang Gang Cockatoos, Spotted Pardalotes, Eastern Spinebills and Brown Thornbills are just a few of the birds you may come across while strolling through the reserve. You may also find an echidna or two. Ringtail Possums and Brushtail Possums emerge from their hollows during the night to feed in the reserve.
Melway reference: Map 11 B12 access via Community Drive, St Helena Road, Cairns Street, Yandell Close or Ridge Road.