About LBP

Friends examining impact of borers as climate change impacts Stringybark

LBP contains ~118 hectares of heritage-listed remnant bush, comprised mainly of Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) woodland and open forest, including Mountain White Gums (Eucalyptus dalrympleana) and Manna Gums (Eucalyptus viminalis) in the wetter areas.

LBP’s Heritage status reflects a very high biodiversity count, or a large variety of native species, living in generally excellent condition bush habitat.

LBP is also home to a number of threatened species, e.g.: 12 uncommon plants have been identified so far.

*** LBP’s high value, heritage-listed conservation status prohibits introduced species – including dogs and horses – which spread weeds and disturb native habitat, threatening the vulnerable inhabitants. ***

Community volunteers from Friends of Lobethal Bushland Park and Bush For Life have been encouraging bush regeneration in the park for many years, leading to significantly improved habitat.

The priority for park management is to maintain high quality bush and remove any "Red Alert Weeds” such as:

...through minimal disturbance bush regeneration methods, encouraging the native bush to recover and regenerate.

Monitoring bushfire risk for community safety and conservation purposes is also a key management consideration.

Aboriginal History

The Lobethal district was originally inhabited by the Peramangk Aboriginal people, who were quickly dispossessed by European settlers. It’s likely they were devastated by introduced diseases, with survivors possibly integrating with the neighbouring Kaurna or Ngarrindjeri tribes. No tribal groups remained in the area by the late 1800s (Dept of Environment and Natural Resources, 1997).

Post 1836

LBP has been used for a number of historical purposes, including:

LBP was logged extensively to make uniforms during World War 1. Trees were also taken for the construction of wharves in Murray Bridge and Morgan.

Two reservoirs built in the 1880s and 1920s supplied the Onkaparinga woollen mills and the Lobethal township. Open cut mining was conducted for the construction of the reservoir walls and gravel tracks within the reserve.

Subsequently, the South Australian Engineering and Water Supply Department (E&WS) managed the area for 50 years, preserving it from clear-felling.

In the early 80s, with the connection of mains water to the district from the Murray, what is now LBP was no longer needed by the E&WS, which sold it to the District Council of Onkaparinga on the condition that the remnant native bush was preserved under a Heritage Agreement.

St John’s Ambulance developed a campsite on the land and Onkaparinga St John Bushland Park was opened in 1986 by then Governor, Sir Donald Dunstan.

Since 1 July 1997, LBP has been owned and managed by Adelaide Hills Council.

Facilities & Access

There is a network of marked walking trails throughout the park, incorporating:

Main access points to the park are via a gate at the southern end of the reserve adjacent the smaller of the two reservoirs, and another gate on Kenton Valley Road (opposite Lobethal cemetery).

There is a playground, picnic / barbecue facilities, and interpretive signage at the southern entrance (outside the Heritage Agreement area), with a gravel carpark nearby.

Topography & Rainfall

Lobethal Bushland Park comprises varied terrain, with gentle slopes dissected by several north-south running creek lines.

Altitude ranges from ~450m–520m above sea level. One of the highest points in the reserve is situated SSE of the main reservoir and has an old lookout at the top of the hill.

Annual rainfall measured at Lobethal station 023726 averages 887.2mm per annum. Monthly rainfall peaks in the months of June – August, and is lowest in January (BoM, 2015).

To help manage the bushfire risk, Adelaide Hills Council maintains 20-40 metre wide firebreak around LBP.

Heritage Agreement

~110 hectares of LBP is protected by a Heritage Agreement. Adelaide Hills Council entered into this Heritage Agreement in 1985.

(All information sourced from the AHC Lobethal Bushland Park Vegetation Management Plan 2015)