December 16, 2020

Friends of Ernle Clark Reserve


What we do

In Spring we hold a “Sycamore Slaughter” to get rid of young sycamore seedlings, and we also have a trapping programme underway in the Reserve.

Working bees are held on the last Saturday of the month 3.00 – 4.00pm.


  • Remove weed species and sycamore seedlings
  • Care for revegetation plantings
  • Plant trees, shrubs, ferns
  • Maintain and restore ecosystems

Who are we?

We are an informal group that operates as a collective. The key group members have been volunteering in the reserve since it began:

  • Ecologist Dr Colin Meurk has been overseeing planting in the reserve for almost 30 years and he continues to provide guidance on planting plans and weed control priorities.
  • Alice Shanks co-ordinates the working bees.
  • Wendy Cooper lives close to the reserve and alerts the group to events in the reserve.
  • Grant Bowden is the hero who put in many hours of grubbing to remove ivy and other weeds. He is an ornithologist.
  • Dr Jon Sullivan and Dr Laura Molles monitor the birds in the reserve as part of a larger research project on hardy bush birds in the city.
  • Dr Melissa Hutchison has a professional interest in weeds.
  • Julian van Dyk and Mark Hutchinson live adjacent the reserve are our source of local history.
  • Megan Qualls is our link with the Somerfield Youth Groups who volunteer each year.


The Friends of Ernle Clark reserve began in July 2006 to care for school revegetation plantings in this area and tidy up the reserve in general.

The Friends of Ernle Clark Reserve continue the century of tree planting along the south bank of the river. They admire and appreciate the oaks, ash, elms, horse chestnut and redwood trees planted from 1860 by several generations of the Clark Family of Thorrington Estate. Three protected tī kōuka trees (cabbage trees) mark the “native walk” planted along the south side of the ponds. The 1990 Sesquicentennial and Year 2000 trees planted by school students are seeding into the reserve.

Ernle Clark Reserve runs along the true left of the Opawaho Heathcote river between Colombo Street and Barrington Street. There are entranceways at the end of Ernlea Terrace, by the Barrington Street bridge round-about, at the eastern end of Studholme Street and off Thorrington Street.


Community Groups