Wolston Creek Bushcare Group

About Us 

Feel free to join us for some nature therapy and light hearted banter at our monthly working bee:

-Start at 7.30 am every fourth Sunday of the month

-There's also a weekly working bee every Tuesday from 7am

-Meet at the shipping container between Riverpoint Blvd entrance and Sumners Road entrance

-Wear insect/tick repellent, sunscreen, hat, long sleeves, long trousers and boots

-Tools provided, plus ongoing training and support by Brisbane City Council


These ongoing projects are funded and supported by Brisbane City Council: 

-Woody weed and weedy vine control throughout Wolston Creek Bushland Reserve

-Restoration of open grassy woodland overlooking the Brisbane River and Wolston Creek 

-Amalgamation and updating of historical fauna and flora studies .

Contact the Group Leader, Lee-Anne Longton.

Eastern grey kangaroo

Eastern grey kangaroo

Photo: Shealagh Walker

Our History

The Jagera and Turrbal peoples both have links with the area around the present Wolston Creek Bushland Reserve.

Europeans first settled the area in 1851 when Dr Stephen Simpson bought a large property next to the creek, now known as Wolston Creek. In1852 he built Wolston House and established a horse and cattle station. Land lying on both sides of Wolston Creek became part of the large Wolston pastoral estate. In 1865, after a varied and successful career in Queensland, Dr Simpson returned to London.

Matthew Goggs purchased the land in the early 1860's. Wolston Estate was broken up in 1901, subdivided and land on the Centenary side was sold as small farms. On the Wacol side, the 640-acre property, stretching from Grindle Road to Wolston Creek, operated as a dairy farm in first half of 20th century by the Hurley then the Grindle families. On the Centenary side, there were 7 subdivisions into small farms from the mouth of Wolston Creek to Wacol Station Road. The land was used mainly for small crops, including pineapples and bananas on the block extending from the mouth of the creek, some timber-getting and some cattle, maybe dairying.

The Hurley family bought the land from the Grindles in 1956. By this time it was rather run down. The Hurleys ran it as a successful dairy farm with fodder crops. So successful, that the government (Dept of Primary Industries) resumed the property in 1960 to use for animal research.

One of the farmers sold some of the land to the Prisons Department for a prison farm in about 1960.

There was a community campaign to save Wolston house for its historical values and in 1965 it was deeded to the National Trust.

The Wacol Prison, built in 1957, incorporated the land now known as the Wolston Creek Bushland Reserve, as part of the prison farm until its closure in 1999.

A group called Concerned Residents Against More Prisons (CRAMP) initiated by Warner Dakin, who had managed to have the proposed Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre and Wolston Correctional Centre moved from the prison farm reserve to an area on the opposite side of Grindle Road in 1997, were very involved in saving this land as open space after the prison farm closed in 1999. CRAMP made submissions to and worked closely with Julie Attwood, the member for the Mt Ommaney electorate, to save this land as parkland.

At the same time, CDEA, known then as the Centenary Riverfront Advisory Committee, CRAC, took part in a Brisbane City Council project investigating potential public parklands between Blackheath Road in Oxley, in a strip within 500 metres of the Brisbane River bank, to Wolston Creek, Riverhills. Members formed sub-committees to look into possible locations and uses. One area CRAC recommended for public open space was the former prison farm land on the north side of Wolston Creek, where we stand now. In 2003 this land was transferred from the State Government to the Brisbane City Council for parkland. Both community groups contributed to this great outcome.  Later that year, following a bushwalk organised by Cr Felicity Farmer, by a group of local people expressed interest in forming a bushcare group to help manage the area. Felicity approached Warner Dakin to form the Wolston Creek Bushland Group (WCBG) and he was subsequently elected to the job.

The reserve is 56 hectares and at the time was run down cattle land. The bushcare group has worked with the Brisbane City Council and other entities such as Powerlink, SAFElink Alliance and the Community Advisory Committee (local prisons) and Rotary to improve the park. BCC installed water, tables, benches and water storage tanks and repaired the lower dam, which now is home to many birds and provides water for kangaroos and other native animals. Powerlink, working with BCC, provided a storage container and cover for WCBG's tools as well as a table and benches. SAFElink Alliance provided an underground water connection between the two tanks near the WCBG's working area.

In 2008 Cr Matthew Bourke became councillor for Jamboree Ward and the reserve was planted out with thousands of trees under the Lord Mayor's 2 Million Tree Program. The Bushcare group and CDEA both worked with council and the revegetation contractors to determine which areas would be revegetated and which tree species would be used. Hundreds of thousands of trees were planted.

In 2011 Warner Dakin retired as bushcare co-ordinator for the Wolston Creek Bushland Reserve and Julie Vejle, another local resident, took on the job. She continued working with BCC on the 2 Million Trees Program and in rehabilitating the bushland which had by then been declared a Bushland Reserve.

In less than ten years this area of degraded farmland has been turned into a worthwhile tract of bushland that is being rehabilitated at a great rate to the benefit of people and wildlife. It is protected as such for future generations. It is special in that there aren't many urban reserves in Australia where you can go for a walk and be sure of seeing wild kangaroos and wallabies and a good variety of birds.

 Before the Park

The land now occupied by the park was for many years part of the Wacol Prison Farm. Following the closure of the prison farm, the State government planned two prisons on the land, a move which was opposed by a group called Concerned Residents Against More Prisons (CRAMP). Eventually the new prisons were sited some distance away, and CRAMP directed its efforts to low level lobbying for all the land to be made a park.  Julie Attwood, by then the State Member of Parliament, conducted surveys and presented the results to Parliament. Finally in 2003 the Government announced plans for 47 hectares, from the houses backing onto the area down to Wolston Creek to become a park under the control of the Brisbane City Council. When then Councillor Felicity Farmer called a meeting to form a bushcare group, several members of CRAMP felt they had an obligation to become involved, and together with other interested local residents formed Wolston Creek Bushland Group, which currently has 17 active members and six very active kids.

About the Park

The park is approximately 1½ kilometers long having an east/west orientation, with a slope downwards from north to south. Mown land, over which high voltage power lines traverse, occupies approximately the northern third of the area. Reflecting its history as “no go” prison land, the park only has entry points at each end off Sumner Road and Riverpoint Boulevard to the west and on the eastern end off Tomkins Road. To the south of the power lines, areas of the park show signs of having been grazing land, with derelict dams and in some areas considerable clearing of the natural wooded land. The remains of barbed wire fences crisscross the park.

For those of a technical mind the park occurs on the terraces and levees of alluvial soils of the Brisbane River, and on the Mesozoic sandstone and shales of the Ipswich basin. The vegetation includes remnant stands of forest red gum and spotted gum, mixed dry sclerophyll, remnant dry rainforest and grassy pasture. A survey of the flora revealed five species uncommon in the Greater Brisbane area, one very uncommon and one very uncommon to rare.

Wouldn't you like to become involved?

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