Bell Rock, a site of indigenous significance and with a long and fascinating European history including swindles and a murder, also carries a rare example of 3 different ecosystems right at the top of the hill.
Over more recent times, the Rock has been a favoured walking site for townspeople and prospectors are often to be seen in the region. Because of its steep nature, the Rock has become a target for more destructive activities and erosion is now eating away at the hill itself.
The beautiful vegetation that attracted so many people to visit in the Spring has been reduced by around 40% .
In recognition of the natural values of the site, St Arnaud Field Naturalist Club has received funding through the Andrews Labour Government’s Community and Volunteer Action Grants to repair the site and protect Bell Rock and its important vegetation types for all to enjoy into the future.
The bush area around the Rock still manages to provide a home for
3 threatened flora species - the Goldfield Boronia, found only in the Western Goldfields Region of NW Victoria, Blue Mallee, long harvested for Eucy oil by local businesses and Cane Speargrass, a once common inhabitant of the now cleared Grassy Plains to the north of town.
Field Nats members will start work shortly on the site with the help of the land manager Parks Victoria, our Dja Dja Wurrung Ranger Team and St Arnaud Lions’ Club members.
NCN - 19th September 2018 edition