Merri Creek Management Committee

There is less than 2% of Victoria’s original volcanic plains grasslands remaining. These grasslands are listed as critically endangered by the Federal Government. Click here for fact sheet. (external pdf).

This is why the Craigieburn Grassland Reserve is so important. The grassland covers approximately 400 hectares between Craigieburn Rd East and OHerns Rd in Melbourne's outer north. It contains Nationally Significant endangered plants such as the Matted Flax-lily Dianella amoena (external pdf) and Curly Sedge Carex tasmanica (external pdf). The grassland is also home to Nationally significant fauna such as the Striped Legless Lizard, the Plains-wanderer and the Golden Sun Moth.

To visit the Craigieburn Grassland Reserve permission must first be obtained from Parks Victoria.

Golden Sun Moth

The Golden Sun Moth is a sun loving moth that is found in the Craigieburn Grassland. The moth was only rediscovered in this area in 2003. Individuals start emerging from their cocoons around mid-November and are rarely seen later than mid-February. They live out their short adult life span in only a few days. See the Golden Sun Moth Lifecycle.

Female Golden Sun Moth showing her colours

This critically endandered animal has made a friend in the Friends of Merri Creek who have planted 7,500 small wallaby grasses in the Craigieburn Grassland Reserve. These wallaby grasses are the favoured food for the Golden Sun Moth caterpillar . The female is thought to lay her eggs in the base of the grasses.

The grasses also provide a playground for the mating dance, with the male moth patrolling the grasslands between 11am and 2pm on sunny days, flying rapidly about a metre above the grass searching for females to mate with while dodging predatory dragonflies and birds.

Females rarely fly. They sit on the ground and flash their brilliantly coloured wings of metallic gold to attract the male (photo above: female Golden Sun Moth).

The Friends of Merri Creek and Merri Creek Management Committee have undertaken surveys of this critically endangered species. Look at a summary of the results of the Golden Sun Moth surveys. Click here for a more detailed report on the Golden Sun Moth surveys (pdf).

More detail on the Craigieburn Grasslands can be found here.

View Craigieburn Grasslands in Google Maps.

Craigieburn Grasslands in Late Summer

Craigieburn Grasslands is made up of Plains Grassland, Grassy Wetland, Stony Knoll Grasslands and Escaprment Shrublands

 

Plains Wanderer

 

 

 

 

The Plains Wanderer is a small, rare ground-dwelling bird found in lowland grasslands, such as Craigieburn Grassland.

 

 

Moomba Park consists of approximately 30 hectatres of open space on the western side of Merri Creek, in Fawkner.

The park was the site of Merri Creek Managment Committee’s bicentennial (1988) planting project at which many thousands of indigenous trees and shrubs were planted in hundreds of plots across the landscape.

These plots now provide, extensive woodland habitat across the landscape, supporting woodland birds and animals such as the Crested Shrike-tit and visiting Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.

Moomba Park consists of approximately 30 ha of open space on the western side of the Merri Creek, in Fawkner.

Moomba Park in 1988 – Bicentennial planting site

Moomba Park is now a valuable habitat site

Moomba Park is now a valuable habitat site (photo from 2006)

However this site is still under threat from patches of un-managed land within the park which harbour weeds such as blackkberry and pest animals such as rabbits that threaten existing native remnants and revegetation plantings.

People of the area

The Fawkner and the Reservoir communities that surround the Merri Creek in Moomba Park are notable for being a community with a highly diverse ethnic background, including a high proportion of recently arrived migrants. Moomba Park Primary School has also been engaged in many environmental activities at this site.

To find out about the geology of this site click here.

View Moomba Park in Google Maps.

Galada Tamboore is part of Kulin land for which the Wurundjeri, the traditional owners, are custodians. It is about 15km north of Melbourne’s CBD. The Wurundjeri named the area Galada Tamboore meaning ‘creek waterhole’.

Merri Creek runs through Galada Tamboore with the suburb of Campbellfield to the west and Thomastown to the east. A large part of Galada’s nearly 100 hectares is managed by Melbourne Water. Hume Council and Whittlesea Council own adjacent land. Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) helps with management. An important area of grassland will soon be managed by Parks Victoria.

Landscape

The landscape was formed by volcanic eruptions over millions of years. The resulting lava flows shaped the course of Merri Creek and formed the impressive basalt escarpments that are found along the creek valley. Merri Merri means ‘very rocky’ in the language of the Wurundjeri.
The dark boulders are formed of basalt rock from volcanic eruptions nearly one million years ago. The lighter coloured rock, lying below the basalt, is Silurian sandstone - approximately 400 million years old from a time when Australia was covered by seawater!

Find out more about the geology of Galada Tamboore

Galada Tamboore landscape
Environmental imacts
Environmental impacts
There is a stormwater drain outlet in Galada Tamboore that
is full of litter and weeds. How does it get there?
Rubbish gets to Galada Tamboore from schools, parks and
the streets when it rains and the water washes the litter
into Merri Creek via stormwater drains.
How many types of litter can you find in this picture?
Weeds

Exotic weeds such as Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Soursob (Oxalis pes-caprae) invade Galada Tamboore and threaten indigenous plants.

Exotic weeds

A Rich Land

Wurundjeri-willam people

Galada Tamboore has been a significant site for many thousands of years. The locals created tools near Merri Creek whilst looking out across the grasslands. Tool fragment scatterings from this work make up twelve sites considered to be archaeologically significant. These important sites also include scar trees, from which bowls and sometimes canoes were cut.
Find out more about the Wurundjeri-willam: Aboriginal Heritage of Merri Creek.

Current land use

Galada Tamboore is surrounded by urban and industrial development. Lack of knowledge about the environmental significance of Galada Tamboore has led to its use as a dumping ground for garden and building waste.

Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of the Merri Creek have been working towards regenerating Galada Tamboore. This includes planting indigenous species, weeding and ecological burns.
Some of the plants being restored include: Tree violet, Sweet bursaria, Hopbush, Yellowbox eucalypts, Red gum, Black wattle and Manna gum.

Life at Galada Tamboore

Habitat for significant fauna

Escarpment cliffs are valuable habitat to many reptiles as well as birds of prey such as kites, kestrels, falcons and eagles which enjoy the soaring updrafts.

The north-facing slopes of the grasslands are warm and full of insects and therefore a great hunting ground for insect eating birds.

In-stream life

Within the creek there is an ever changing waterbug life including dragonfly nymphs, caddisfly larvae, freshwater shrimp and needle bugs (pictured). The needle-bug has a stick-like body and a tail that acts like a snorkel.

Pippit Nest – ground nesting bird A Needle bug collected from the section of Merri Creek which runs through Galada Tamboore
Pippit Nest – ground nesting bird A Needle bug collected from the section of Merri Creek which runs through Galada Tamboore

Find out more about Galada Tamboore.

View Galada Tamboore in Google Maps.


The changing fortunes of Merri Creek come alive in a new series of displays that demonstrate how far we’ve come in restoring the creek. Images from Merri Creek Management Committee’s treasure trove of records contrast the different eras of the Merri corridor.

If you weren’t around twenty years ago you’ll be surprised at how much the landscape of the Merri has changed since the 1980’s. You can help play a role in its future.

Merri Creek Management Committee provides services for local government, government agencies, private clients and community organisations.

The range of services we offer includes:

Our current Ecological Restoration work includes projects with local government, agencies, community groups and private clients:

  • Merri Creek bushland maintenance and specialist grassland management contracts - Moreland and Darebin Councils. 
  • Biosite assessment, ecological works planning and on ground ecological restoration works - MetroTrains, Level Crossing Authority and APA Group. 
  • Design and implementation of specialised Merri Creek vegetation restoration works - Melbourne Water Corridors of Green program, Darebin, Hume, Moreland and Yarra Councils.
  • Design and implementation of community partnership waterway ecological restoration projects - Collingwood Children's Farm and Friends of Merri Creek.

Our Ecological Survey and Assessment work includes:

  • Golden Sun Moth Surveys - Hume Council, private clients, Friends of Merri Creek
  • Plant surveys  - Threatened Species, Habitat Hectare Assessments 
  • Insect Pollinator Surveys

Our training delivery includes:

  • Grass ID workshops - Mitchell Shire
  • Habitat Gardening workshops - community
  • Rare Species ID and species management needs - Melbourne Water
  • Waterwatch - Green Army
  • Frog Census - Community

We would be pleased to discuss how we can be of specific help to you, and to quote for work you may require.  Please contact us ph. (03) 9380-8199  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..