Sheepwash Creek biolink (shaded purple in the map below) in the Arthurs Seat-Red Hill-South Dromana area seeks to enhance connectivity of Sheepwash Creek catchment’s areas of native vegetation. These areas form an important wildlife corridor, connecting the western section of Arthurs Seat escarpment with Mornington Peninsula National Park at Greens Bush and Bushrangers Bay/Cape Schanck.
In October 2015 the Sheepwash Creek Biolink Plan was finalised, detailing works that could be undertaken on ten private properties in the area to achieve connectivity.
Among the grants awarded and acquitted for works outlined in the Sheepwash Creek Biolink Plan: are
- Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA) Community Project – to Sheepwash Creek Landcare. Funds were used to begin important weed control in areas of indigenous vegetation areas on 5 of the biolink properties. Key weeds: Sweet Pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum), Sallow Wattle (Acacia longifolia), Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), and Angled Onion (Allium triquetrum). Works funded under grant were completed in 2016.
- Green Army (Round 4) – awarded to the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network. Among the sites included in this grant are sites on 4 Sheepwash Ck biolink properties, and 1 Watson Ck biolink property. Works funded under this grant were completed in 2016.
- PPWCMA Sustainable Grazing project grant – awarded to one Sheepwash Creek Biolink landholder for biolinks works compatible with sustainable grazing practices. Works funded under this grant were completed in 2016.
In addition to this, several Sheepwash Creek biolink landholders have applied for and acquitted Melbourne Water Stream Frontage grants for planned biolink works on streamsides on their properties.
About Sheepwash Creek catchment
The upper reaches of Sheepwash Creek catchment include a large section of the northern escarpment of Arthurs Seat State Park and adjoining properties. Sheepwash Creek catchment encompasses the land south and above OT Dam, and east to Whitehills Road. Below the escarpment, several small tributaries combine to form Sheepwash Creek near the intersection of Boundary Road and Shergolds Lane. Sheepwash Creek then flows through private and public land to Port Phillip Bay, entering the bay between Dromana and Safety Beach.
The portion of Arthurs Seat escarpment within Sheepwash Creek catchment contains the only granite outcrop on the Mornington Peninsula that still retains significant areas of native vegetation. With a soil structure unique to granite outcrops, the native vegetation in this area is valuable habitat and food source for many native animals, including migratory birds.