Jarramlee/West MacGregor Grasslands Nature Reserve
Jarramlee/West MacGregor Grasslands Nature Reserve, part of Canberra Nature Park, is a 145 hectare nature reserve on the north-western border of the ACT. The reserve rises from the narrow flood plains of Ginninderra and Gooroman Ponds creeks to a low lying hill, Stony Knob.
The Jarramlee/West MacGregor grasslands connects to grasslands across the border in NSW, forming an extensive area of grassland habitat. The reserve has patches of nationally endangered Natural Temperate Grassland providing habitat for the endangered Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana) and a small area of woodland is used by threatened and regionally declining woodland birds. It is one of only thirty known locations of the Canberra Raspy Cricket.
Dogs are not permitted.
- Nature appreciation
- Bird watching
- Horse riding (only on marked equestrian trails)
West MacGregor is currently a closed reserve (under the Nature Conservation Act 2014) and also a rural lease. Public access is not allowed.
Cultural Landscape – A continuing connection to country
Aboriginal people lived in and managed the landscape in this region for thousands of years and have maintained a connection to the land to the present day. Generations of Aboriginal people have cared for Country, and have been sustained, physically and spiritually through their relationship with the land, waterways and cosmology.
Traditional Custodians have actively managed the landscape through activities such as ‘fire stick farming’ and selectively cultivating certain plants, which created the landscapes first seen by explorers and pastoral settlers.
Continuation of knowledge
Traditionally, the local Ngunnawal people shared knowledge and responsibility for Caring for Country. Today, this cultural knowledge continues to be passed down to younger generations and has a role to play in the management of ACT reserves.
Aboriginal community organisations and the Murumbung Rangers in the ACT Parks and Conservation Service run cultural activities to educate the wider community about the cultural landscape, heritage values and land conservation practices.
The reserve protects over 13 Aboriginal heritage sites including stone artefacts, occurring individually and in small scatters on the surface, and a number of areas are likely to contain further Aboriginal heritage sites.
These sites are of cultural significance to Traditional Custodians, linking generations of Aboriginal people over time, and they are also of archaeological significance as an important source of information on the history of the reserve and the ACT region.
All Aboriginal places and objects in the ACT are protected under the Heritage Act 2004 and must not be disturbed. Anyone finding an (unregistered) Aboriginal object or place has an obligation to report it to the Heritage Council.
With pastoral settlement in the mid-nineteenth century, the reserve was primarily used as grazing land and part of the reserve was allocated through the Soldier Settlement Scheme to returned soldier Harrold Bingley in 1924.
The reserve has plough lands on the river flat on either side of Ginninderra Creek, and a fence post which is likely to be part of the original fence constructed along the ACT and NSW border in the 1920s.
Stony Knob – the highest point of the reserve at 590 metres – was used as a trig point by Percy Sheaffe and his team in February 1911 for the survey line between Mount Coree and One Tree Hill.
Vegetation communities and associations
Jarramlee/West MacGregor grasslands, the nearby Dunlop Grassland Nature Reserve, and neighbouring grasslands in NSW form a large continuous grassland habitat used by grassland species including the endangered Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana). Habitat connectivity is being improved by restoration activities.
Plants – Land of diversity
Jarramlee/West MacGregor protects small patches of endangered Natural Temperate Grassland, dominated by Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis) or Wallaby Grass (Rytidosperma sp). There are also areas of lower quality native grassland, and Chillean Needle Grass (Nassella neesiana) in some areas along creek lines.
Various species of eucalyptus trees have been planted throughout the reserve providing important habitat for woodland birds and other locally threatened bird species.
Animals – Home to many
The critically endangered Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana) has been recorded over a majority of the reserve and it is one of the largest known populations in the ACT. Several active burrows of the Canberra Raspy Cricket (Cooraboorama canberrae) have also been recorded. Canberra Raspy Cricket is endemic to the Canberra – Queanbeyan- Bugendore area and is known from fewer than 30 locations and is the only species within its genus.
Threatened and declining bird species include
- Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata)
- Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)
- Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea)
- Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata)
- Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides)
- Painted Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)
- Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)
- White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons)
- White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus)
- White Winged Triller (Lalage sueurii)
Ginninderra and Goroman Ponds creeks provide important habitat for local flora and fauna including the Striped Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes peronii) and Spotted Grass Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis).
Ginninderra Creek is also of local importance for woodland birds moving between Belconnen and the Murrumbidgee River.
Environmental Offset Area
Jarramlee/West MacGregor Grasslands Nature Reserve is an environmental offset area.
Access is from the suburb of Macgregor.
About Canberra Nature Park
Canberra Nature Park is made up of 38 nature reserves ranging from bushland hills to some of the best examples of lowland native grassland and endangered ecological community of Yellow Box-Red Gum Grassy Woodland left in Australia. The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is responsible for managing Canberra Nature Park. For more information visit the Canberra Nature Park webpage.
The management of Canberra Nature Park is greatly assisted by a group of volunteers called ParkCare. ParkCare volunteers undertake a variety of activities including seed collection, plant propagation, tree planting, weed removal, erosion control, vegetation mapping and recording, water quality monitoring, raising community awareness and the maintenance and restoration of heritage places.
For more information visit ParkCare
Caring for Ngunnawal Country
The ACT Government acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as Traditional Custodians of the Canberra region, and their continuing sense of responsibility to preserve the spirit and stories of their ancestors throughout the landscape. Cultural values ;are also living and current, as much as an appreciation of the past. For more information visit Caring for Ngunnawal Country.
Canberra Nature Map
Report rare and endangered plant sightings via the Canberra Nature Map.
For more information on heritage tracks, visit Canberra Tracks which is a network of heritage signage that incorporates six self-drive routes leading to many of Canberra’s historic sites.
The ACT Parks and Conservation Service conducts prescribed burns throughout Canberra Nature Park.
More information and feedback
For more information or to provide feedback, contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or complete an online feedback form.