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Before & after - Devilbend Reservoir becomes a recreational haven

Before & after - Devilbend Reservoir becomes a recreational haven


In the heart of the Mornington Peninsula, just an hour’s drive south-east of Melbourne, lies Devilbend Natural Features Reserve.

Devilbend Reservoir is Mornington Peninsula’s largest inland body of water and the 1,000-ha area has a history of being put to practical use. Over the decades, its two reservoirs were used to supply water to Melbourne, and the surrounding land was cleared and leased to cattle farmers for grazing. In 2007, the land ceased its role as a reservoir and was handed over to the Crown to be put to a very different use; as a biodiverse native forest, and a recreational haven for the local community.  

In 2008, Greenfleet partnered with Parks Victoria to revegetate the land surrounding Devilbend Reservoir. Between 2009 – 2013, we planted over 28,000 native seedlings across 78-ha. We planted a range of native species including Swamp Gum (Eucalyptus ovata), Australian Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) and Heath Tea-Tree (Leptospernum myrsnoides). The forest quickly flourished and began to provide valuable habitat for shorebirds and waterbirds, as well as insects and kangaroos.



Since the last planting, the forest has continued to thrive, with trees now standing over eight metres tall. The site has also been utilised for a scientific study. Students from La Trobe University surveyed moth and beetle populations in the newly reforested area, compared with those in cleared pastures and remnant vegetation.

More native birds have made a return to the area, including forest birds such as Golden Whistlers, Fairy Wrens and Crimson Rosellas. Notably, the site is also home to the Mornington Peninsula’s only known pair of White-Bellied Sea-Eagles, as well as the endangered Growling Grass Frog.

As well as playing a vital environmental role, Devilbend Reservoir provides recreational opportunities for the local community, and is a popular destination for bushwalkers, picnickers and birdwatchers. As it grows, the forest is expected to sequester over 44,000 tonnes of CO2-e in the next 100 years. Combined with its environmental and social value, this has been an incredibly rewarding project for Greenfleet.

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