About

Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23) is one of the 255 Ecological Vegetation Classes described in Goulburn Broken Catchment, north-east Victoria, Australia. At the time of European settlement Herb-rich Foothill Forest and similar vegetation types (eg EVCs 22, 29, 47) covered large parts of the Strathbogie Ranges. However, in the 200 years since settlement, the landscape has been largely cleared for agriculture with only pockets of original vegetation remaining across most of the Ranges.

This website is about a patch of forest in the Strathbogie Ranges of north-east Victoria. Its part of a largish remnant of native forest (~150 ha) on the slopes of a prominent local hill called Boundary Hill. Most of this bush is classified as Herb-rich Foothill Forest (Ecological Vegetation Class 23). For more information on Victoria’s EVC’s go here.

As you can see, the patch is part of a fragmented natural landscape. It is loosely connected to other bush fragments to the north-west, but the landscape to the east and south is extensively cleared.

For more detail on the types of vegetation of the region download Strathbogie Tableland EVCs.

Satellite image, with Boundary Hill Forest at center.

The dominant trees in this forest are Narrow-leaf Peppermint (E. radiata), Manna Gum (E. viminalis) and Blue Gum (E. bicostata) and occassionally Broad-leaf Peppermint (E. dives) creeps into the mix on the drier northern and western slopes. Messmate Stringybark (E. obliqua) occurs along roadsides on the lower slopes, but not in the forest proper. Long-leaf Box (E. goniocalyx) also occurs nearby.

The small tree-tall shrub layer is typically Silver Wattle (A. dealbata), Blackwood Wattle (A. melanoxylon) in gullies and springs and Cherry Ballart (E. cupressiformis) is spread intermittently through the forest. The shrub layer is dominated by Common Cassinia (C. aculeata) and Bracken Fern (P. esculentum), though the drying climate of the last 10 years has seen quite a few changes.

This blog is a personal effort to describe Herb-rich Foothill Forest, on this hill in the Strathbogie Ranges, beyond the usual indicator species and broad descriptions and, in particular, how it changes over time.

I started out with a small point and shoot camera (Casio Exilim EXZ55 5MP) and recently bought a Fujifilm Finepix HS10. Though not quite DSLR quality, the HS10 combines macro and telephoto in the one lens, which I find very convenient.

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