Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hopetoun Ravensthorpe Heritage Trail Wildflower Walk

On the 20th September a group of 23 people participated in the inaugural Wildflower walk along part of the historic section Desmond to Kundip railway line. Guide Sue Leighton said attendees came from all walks of life with international, interstate and intrastate visitors enjoying the 7klm walk. One participant came from New Zealand (a keen hobby botanist)
thoroughly enjoyed the walk and continued onto another section of the trail after the official trek was completed. He vows to return with his wife next year. Others came from Bremer Bay, Busselton, Bunbury, Esperance, Perth and our locals many of whom were surprised at how beautiful the walk is. One person commented that it is a hidden treasure and now knows what lies beyond the road between Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun.

Before the trek began we all had to scrub our boots down to help prevent the spread of diseases such as dieback thanks to Jessica Wright from R.A.I.N who gave us a talk on the importance of preventing the spread of soil borne diseases weed seeds and such.

Jessica also spoke on how important it is to maintain our section of the coastal corridor from Hopetoun to Munglinup, and ensuring it remains a biodiversity hotspot.

With the weather perfect and wildflowers in abundance we all set out from the old gravel pit where there is a good view of the historic mine sites in the distance and remnants of mine infrastructure. We walked about 2 Kim to reach the trail and were amazed at wildflowers in this heath like bush many would not be seen on the trail.

The Heritage trail pretty well follows the Steere River and it criss-crosses across the trail in a few places where remnants of railway bridges can be seen. Seeing the size of the bridge timbers is a stark reminder of the many challenges pioneers in area had when constructing the line.

The last train to use the line is now called Lechenault Lady and resides in Margaret River where it graces the entry to the town.

This section of the trail takes you along small gorges; through a stands of Sheoaks and eucalypts, wetland areas and woodland so a variety of plant species associated with these areas were in full bloom and provided us with a good sense of natural change along the trail. There were many a rare plant found along the trail and nothing excites more than finding that first terrestrial orchid.

Morning tea was provided and everyone enjoyed the homemade treats, tea, and coffee.  Pat Meadows who was one of the many original people who set this fantastic trail up and has been instrumental in maintaining the trail since its inauguration joined us. The first section was opened in 2001 the 100th anniversary of the 2 towns.

This Wildflower Walk was made possible by the support of the Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council, R.A.I.N via South Coast NRM. If you would like to know more about the Heritage Trail or other guided walks contact Ainsley Foulds on 0427 383 078. 

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