Porter Scrub Conservation Park

The second park of the day was Porter Scrub Conservation Park, which is located at Kenton Valley in the Central Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’, about 30 kms north-east of Adelaide.  It was just a short 10 minute drive from the Charleston Conservation Park.  Access to the park is via Maidment Road, west of the town of Mount Torrens.

After purchase from the estate of the late J. J. Porter, the park was proclaimed on 20 October 2005 under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 to protect a significant area of remnant forest and woodland habitat.

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Conserved within the 104 hectare park are areas of Candlebark Gum open forest, which is considered endangered in South Australia, and Pink Gum low woodland and River Red Gum woodland, both of which are considered vulnerable at a state level.

The land comprising Porter Scrub Conservation Park is traditionally associated with the Peramangk people of the Mount Barker Area.  Following colonial settlement, the park was used for grazing and timber extraction, while talc mining was a large operation until around 1970.  The presence of old mine shafts and large tree stumps in the park today are testament to this era.

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The park terrain is undulating to hilly, flanking a central valley along Howard Creek. It includes areas of Messmate Stringybark woodland and state endangered Candlebark Gum open forest, which is also sometimes referred to as Mountain Gum.  Pink Gum low woodland and River Red Gum woodland are found in the park and are also of conservation significance, with both rated as vulnerable at a state level. The park also supports grassy woodlands of Messmate Stringybark and Manna Gum & South Australian Blue Gum.

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At least 46 bird species occur in Porter Scrub Conservation Park, 14 of which are considered to be of conservation significance.  There have been 11 bird species of conservation significance observed at Porter Scrub Conservation Park, including the Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo, which is rated as vulnerable in South Australia.  When these birds are around there is no mistaking them, as they have a high pitched schreek.

Western Grey Kangaroos are regularly seen in Porter Scrub Conservation Park, as are Echidnas and a few species of insectivorous bats.  Koalas can also be found in the park.  While they are a native species, they were originally restricted to the Lower South East of South Australia and have been introduced to the Mount Lofty Ranges. The habitat conserved by the park is also suitable for a number of other threatened fauna species.  These include the nationally endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot and the Spotted Quail-thrush, which is endangered in South Australia and the Mount Lofty Ranges region.

Land uses in the surrounding region include grazing, cropping, horticulture and rural living. Rural grazing properties and vineyards bound the park, while land occupied by the Kenton Valley Pistol and Shooting Club adjoins the park on the south-west.

It was quiet mid morning in this park, with just 7 QSO’s on 40m SSB.  Many of the regular ‘Hunters’ kept me in business.

The following stations were worked:- Andy VK5LA; Larry VK5LY; Nev VK5WG; Terry VK3UP; Brian VK5FMID; Tom VK5EE; and Bernard VK3AMB.

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