A Heritage Agreement forms a conservation contract to protect land.
Lobethal Bushland Park includes 83.65 hectares covered by Heritage Agreement.
This means that certain activities are restricted including:-
The removal of native vegetation,
The introduction of non-indigenous vegetation,
The introduction of non-indigenous fauna (including pets),
The removal of wood or timber (whether standing or fallen, dead or alive),
The removal or disturbance of rocks or soil (including cultivation),
The recreational use of trail bikes and other vehicles
A recreation area at the southern end of the park is exclude from the Heritage Agreement
and includes a children's playground, barbeques and a community centre.
Dogs, on leads, are are permitted in this area only.
On 20th December 2019 a catastrophic bushfire (wildfire) broke out at Cudlee Creek and quickly spread
a path of destruction
through Lobethal, Woodside, Lenswood, Mount Torrens, Charleston, and Harrogate a distance of about 15 km (nearly
10 miles), with a perimeter of about 130 km (over 80 miles).
Over 25,000 hectares (62,000 acres) were burnt with one person killed and 87 homes, nearly 500 other buildings,
hundreds of vehicles, crops, livestock and pets lost.
This fire completely devastated Lobethal Bushland Park.
The park was previously an unburnt remnant of native bushland.
The Adelaide Hills Council (the owner of the park) closed the park following the fire and organised a qualified
arborist to assess the damage then organised the making of the park safe by Council staff with the help of the
Australian Defense Force and Team Rubicon volunteers.
The park partially reopened mid-February and further work continued on trail markers, bridges, boardwalks, and safety issues.
The children's playground and barbeques in the recreation area were also damaged by the fire and had to be removed.
It was expected that this work would take some months to complete, however the onset of the Corona Virus further restricted the effort.
Rain during January and February helped the regeneration process with flora and fauna showing early signs of recovery.
In some cases trees will not regrow due to the extreme fire intensity experienced in a number of areas.
Generally, however, most trees, especially Eucalypts, are expected to regenerate in time as they have evolved
adaptations to withstand bushfires.
Trees with rough bark, such as Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) have epicormic buds (dormant growth buds)
deep beneath the bark which are protected from fire.
When the tree is burnt and the foliage removed, the epicormic buds are triggered into lifeand they start to grow.
Once these buds sprout, the tree then begins to regrow all the lost foliage, and gradually recovers in time.
The first few leaves to sprout from these epicormic buds may look very different to the leaves that were on the tree
before it was burnt. These first few leaves are juvenile leaves and will soon be replaced by adult leaves which are
Some other eucalypts regenerate from underground lignotubers which are large roots from which the tree can sprout new
Although the above-ground part of the tree may not survive being burnt, the lignotuber and root-system remains alive.
These trees should be left alone as their removal will damage the lignotubers and may prevent the tree from successfully
In time, these trees will often develop multi-stem trunks and provide important habitat for local wildlife.
Other plants such as Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea australis) have also developed ingenious ways to withstand
bushfires, including dense, fibrous trunks.
These plants simply reshoot and recover quite quickly. Many local landowners have remarked that tree ferns located
in gullies and along watercourses started to resprout only weeks after the fires. Many indigenous plants, including
Grass Trees, rely on fire to remove the build up of leaves and dead material.
Once burnt, flower-spikes, which will develop numerous seeds, are often the first sign that the Grass Tree is alive.
Other plants may not survive bushfires but have instead developed ways to ensure that their species will still persist
into the future.
A number of smooth barked eucalypt species, rarely survive bushfires and have instead evolved other ways to regenerate
Seeds stored in capsules (gum-nuts) in the tree canopy are released following fire, then germinate en-masse once
conditions become favourable, ensuring the survival of the species.
Wattle trees (Acacia melanoxylon (Blackwood)) have developed seeds with hard coats which are stored in the leaf
litter and soil.
Many of these seeds have been buried underground by ants busily building up food stores to feed their colonies.
The heat of the fire cracks the seedcoats and triggers germination.
Many properties have experienced a carpet of tiny seedlings emerging from the blackened ground.
In time, these seedlings will thin themselves out naturally and gradually replace the mid-storey vegetation,
providing an important food source for local possums and birds as they recolonise bushfire affected areas.
Note:- This Fact Sheet was prepared for the City of Whittlesea, north of Melbourne, Victoria, but is also relevant to our area.