In the midst of a residential area at East Ryde, near some light commercial industry and a primary school, there is the Wallumatta Nature Reserve. This small pocket of land was originally part of the Field of Mars Common, kept separate from land grants and development, and it has survived despite incursions on all sides.
According to the National Parks site, the tract of land was believed to be named by Governor King after the name used by the Aboriginal Wallumedegal People. The original grant was 2,500 hectares, and this included the 6.2 hectares that comprise the reserve now.
The reserve features some of the largest remnant forest of Sydney turpentine and ironbark forest, and is home to wildlife and birdlife.
There is a loop track which provides easy walking through the mainly level block, and the track is well signposted with additional information about the reserve. This includes insights into how the remnant is just that, a tiny patch of a magnificent forest which once covered a swathe of land in Sydney. Less than five percent of the original forest remains.
Geological shifts from shale to sandstone are reflected in the various plants that grow on the reserve. Throughout the reserve, the trees were alive with insects and birds, including a pair of rainbow lorikeets enjoying the sunshine.
With subtle changes across the seasons, the reserve is one of the hidden natural delights across Sydney that provide something special with each visit.
Have you found a pocket of nature lately?
[Photo: entrance to the Wallumatta Nature Reserve]