Old Canberra House remnant grassy woodlands

The Old Canberra House remnant grassy woodlands meets has been listed as a threatened ecological community, White Box - Yellow Box - Blakely's Red Gum and Derived Native Grassland, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The grasslands also form part of the Acton Conservation Area which is listed under the Commonwealth Heritage List.

An ongoing program of restoration has been developed. The aim is to extend the grasslands by reconnecting the remnant patches. This is done by weed control and plantings in key locations.

Five remnant grassland patches are located at Old Canberra House, ANU. It is the most ecologically significant area on campus, with more than 100 species recorded, including threatened species. This significance is particularly relevant given its semi-urban context.

Outcomes

Restoring ecological connectivity

The ecological significance of the area has been identified in the ANU Environmental Management Plan and draft Biodiversity Management Plan. The size of the ecological community has increased in response to restoration activities, and remnant patches are gradually being reconnected.

Campus as classroom

The area is actively used as an outdoor classroom in teaching fieldwork skills and monitoring, in particular demonstrating active management and trial-and-error testing for rehabilitation techniques in a convenient location on campus. It is also a highly popular location for lunchtime walks and occasional events including marriage ceremonies.

Community awareness and engagement

Community engagement initiatives increase awareness of the significance of the area and provide support for conservation. Activities include volunteer weeding and planting days, guided tours and installing interpretative signage. Important links with local Indigenous groups are built by learning from them.