Reserve Name: Gwambygine Pool Conservation Reserve
Area: 3.8 ha
Location: Shire of York
Access: Great Southern highway
Custodian: River Conservation Society Inc.
Vegetation Assemblages: Medium woodland of York Gum (Eucalyptus loxophleba)
Waterways: Avon River – Gwambygine Pool, Black Jack Creek
Soil types: Brown loamy earth, brown deep sand and grey non-cracking clay.
History: This reserve fringes the locally famous Gwambygine Pool and historical Gwambygine homestead located on the banks of the Avon River. It is a small reserve but encompasses a typical woodland area, two steep gullies, billabongs and riparian habitats. Among its many attributes, Gwambygine Reserve is a designated and recognized scientific research area for the protection and rehabilitation of native flora and fauna.
It was formally opened as a reserve vested in the River Conservation Society in October 2005 by the then minister of the Environment Judy Edwards MLA; but the R.C.S. had been involved in its management since the early 1990’s. In 1992, the R.C.S. facilitated the exclusion of stock from the area through the construction of a government funded stock dam and fencing.
During river pool excavation activities through the late 1990’s, the reserve was the location of stock piles of dredge spoil removed from Gwambygine Pool. Subsequently, the R.C.S. rehabilitated the area once the stockpile was removed utilizing grants from the Lotteries Commission via The Gordon Reid Foundation, who also provided funding for several projects around the Gwambygine Pool between 1992-2005. Over 4000 seedlings were planted on the site by R.C.S. volunteers in 2004 during a massive re-vegetation project undertaken by the R.C.S. with a variety of stakeholders and many volunteers, at a variety of reserves and locations to re-vegetate catchment areas and create wildlife corridors. Follow-up with in-fill planting occurred in 2005 funded by a Community Conservation Grant.
Approximately 1 km fencing supplied by the Department of Water Avon River Basin Fencing Program in 2009 was erected by Green Corp to complete the protection the reserve. Signage has been erected to educate the public about the reserve and the adjacent river pool and its historical features. It is an area with deep significance to the local Ballardong Aboriginal people.
Given its proximity to one of the few remaining deep pool habitats on the Avon River, many biological surveys have taken place on and in the vicinity of the reserve.