Nixon Skinner Conservation Park 5CP-165 and VKFF-0923

Our fourth and final park for the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend was the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park 5CP-165 & VKFF-0923, which is located about 60 km south of Adelaide and about 4 km south of the town of Myponga.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park. Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

Nixon Skinner Conservation Park is a small park comprising just 8 hectares, but it is a very picturesque park. The park backs onto the Myponga Reservoir and is located adjacent to Main South Road (the main road between Myponga and Yankalilla). There are no signs from the road to indicate the park. There is a small area to park your car, but be careful turning in as Main South Road can be quite busy with the speed limit being 100kph.

Above:- An aerial view of the Nixon Skinner CP looking north towards the city of Adelaide. Image c/o Google maps.

The land which became the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park was donated in 1948 by Mrs. Lucy Page of Wattle Flat, to the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia, for use as a natural history reserve.

Above:- from The Advertiser, Sat 16th October 1948. c/o Trove

Mrs. Lucy Eleanor Page nee Nixon (b. 1870. d. 1960) was a long standing and active member of the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia. Mrs. Page lived in the locality for about 60 years.

Above:- Lucy Eleanor Page nee Nixon. Image c/o Ancestry.com.au

The land was subsequently bestowed to the National Parks and Wildlife Reserves Commission as the Nixon Skinner Reserve. However the actual land transfer did not occur until the 12th day of April 1961 following the death of Mrs. Page on the 22nd June 1960.

Above:- Article from the Victor Harbour Times, Fri 12 Aug 1960. c/o Trove

On the 9th day of November 1967 the park was declared the Nixon Skinner National Parks Reserve. On the 27th day of April 1972 it was re-proclaimed as the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park

Above:- from The South Australian Government Gazette, 9th November 1967.

The park was named in honour of the grandfathers of Mrs. Page; Thomas Skinner (b. 1814. d. 1902) and William Millington Nixon (b. 1814. d. 1893).

Thomas William Skinner was born on 2nd September 1822 in Robertsbridge, Sussex, England. Thomas emigrated to Australia in 1854 aboard the ‘Ostrich’. He died on the 2nd April 1902 in Yankalilla.

William Millington Nixon was born on 1st August 1814 in Birmingham, England. He arrived in Melbourne in 1855 aboard the ‘Champion of the Seas’. He then transferred to the ship ‘Havilah‘ and sailed to Adelaide. He lived in the Yankalilla area in 1866.

Above:- William Millington Nixon. Image c/o State Library of South Australia [B 64201/13].

The land was the first privately donated reserve to be established in South Australia for the preservation in peerpetuity of native plants and animals and for the enjoyment of nature lovers.

In 1980 a plaque was erected in the park by the Field Naturalists Society of South Australia Incorporated. The plaque was unveiled on the 24th day of February 1980, by the Hon. David Wotton, Esq, M.P. Minister of Environment. About 60 people were in attendance, including Mrs. Page’s three surviving daughters.

Above:- The plaque in the park.

At the official unveiling of the plaque, Mr. Wotton said:

“this beautiful Myponga area showed that she (Lucy Page) had a far sighted and truly conservationist attitude’.

Above:- Newspaper article from the Victor Harbour Times, Wed 27th Feb 1980

There is a very easy, but enjoyable walk in the park. It is a distance of about 1.3 km and is about 30 minutes return. The walk concludes at Gate 26 of the reservoir. More information can be found on the Walking SA website at…..

The park consists of Messmate Stringybark, Pink Gum, River Red Gum, Erect Guinea-flower, Heath Tea-tree, Myrtle Wattle, Golden Wattle, South Australian Blue Gum, Silver Banksia, Cross-leaved Honey-myrtle, and Silky Tea-tree.

There are some spectacular views to be enjoyed in the park of the adjoining Myponga Reservoir.

The video below shows the Nixon Skinner Conservation Park and the Myponga Reservoir from the air (via drone).

Birds SA have recorded a total of 81 species of bird in the park including :auhing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairywren, Crescent Honeyeater, Brown Thornbill, Grey Shrikethrush, Scarlet Robin, Musk Lorikeet, Willie Wagtail, Restless Flycatcher, Rufous Whistler, and Black-capped Sittella.

Below you can see some photos I took during my time in the park.

The park is home to a number of native mammals, including numerous Western Grey kangaroos. We certainly saw a lot in the park during our visit.

The park was also alive with butterflies.

Marija and I kicked off the activation by calling CQ on 7.144. Mike VK3ZMD was first in my log, followed by Joseph VK3HJJ, and then Joe VK3YSP. I logged a total of 22 stations before callers slowed down. This included 8 Park to Park contacts who Marija also logged.

  • Tony VK3YV/p – Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055
  • Peter VK3PF/p – Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464
  • Malcolm VK3OAK/p – Annuello Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2255
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159
  • Bryan VK3LF/p – Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055
  • Brett VK3MCA/p – Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2160
  • Adam VK2YK/5 – Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884
  • Gerard VK2IO/p – Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045

I then swapped the mic with Marija who logged a total of 29 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5. There was a little bit of close in propagation with VK5 stations logged at nearby Willunga, up to Port Augusta about 300 km to the north of us, and down to Millicent about 350 km to the south-east. We were also very pleased to log Adam VK2YK/5 who was activating the Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve.

I then got back into the mic to hopefully get my 44 QSOs to qualify the park for the global WWFF program. I logged a further 19 stations and now had 41 contacts in the log, just 3 short of my 44. I then moved to the 20m band where I logged a total of 8 stations from VK2, VK3, VK4, and New Zealand. I was very pleased to log Peter ZL1PWM and Andrei ZL1TM. I also logged Tony VK3YV/p who was in the Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055. Contact number 44 for me was a QSO with Geoff VK3SQ at Beechworth in north-east Victoria.

We then took down the linked dipole and put up the 15m dipole. We were hoping for some contacts on that band, which had performed well at our last activation. We were not disappointed, logging a total of 14 stations on 15m from VK2, VK3, VK4. This included another Park to Park contact with Tony VK3YV/p in the Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055.

We headed back to the 40m band to pick up another Park to Park contact, this time with Peter VK3ZPF/p who was in the Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971.

We then saw some spots pop up on parksnpeaks for some of the Western Australian park activators, so it was back to that band where I logged the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Mike VK6MB/p – Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852
  • Hans VK6XN/p – Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980

I had well and truly qualified the park for both WWFF and VKFF, while Marija had 43 contacts in the log. So we moved back to 40m where Marija logged 8 further stations including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Chris VK1CT/p – Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-0841
  • Joseph VK3HJJ/p – Warby Ovens National Park VKFF-0742
  • Mike VK6MB/p -Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852
  • Hans VK6XN/p – Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980

We decided to have a quick listen on 80m and then pack up and go for a walk through the park. We logged 6 stations on 80m including another Park to Park with Peter VK3TKK/p in the Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971.

We were about to pack up when Marija saw a spot on parksnpeaks to advise that Gerard VK2IO would soon be on a SOTA summit. So we decided to wait around for a while with the hope of logging Gerard, which we did, from the top of SOTA VK2/ CT-043.

We then packed up and went for a walk through the park. Between the two of us, we had 117 contacts in our log. Marija had 52 QSOs in the log. I had 65 QSOs in the log. This included 32 Park to Park contacts.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  2. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  3. VK3OAK/p (Annuello Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2255)
  4. VK2YK/5 (Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159)
  5. VK3LF/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  6. VK3MCA/p (Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2160)
  7. VK3ARH/m
  8. VK3SQ
  9. VK3DJC
  10. VK4FDJL
  11. VK2VW
  12. VK2HFI
  13. VK4NH
  14. VK4DXA
  15. ZL4TY/VK4
  16. VK3UCD
  17. VK2HRX
  18. VK3PWG
  19. VK2LX
  20. VK3HJJ
  21. VK5KVA
  22. VK5KLV
  23. VK2VH
  24. VK4AAC
  25. VK3CRG
  26. VK5VST
  27. VK3ANL
  28. VK3PT
  29. VK2YK/5 (Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884)
  30. VK2IO/p (Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045)
  31. VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)
  32. VK1CT/p (Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-0841)
  33. VK3HJJ/p (Warby Ovens National Park VKFF-0742)
  34. VK6MB/p (Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852)
  35. VK3PI
  36. VK3MPR
  37. VK4SMA
  38. VK2DG
  39. VK6XN/p (Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980)
  40. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-043)

Marija worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  2. VK4NH
  3. VK4DXA
  4. ZL4TY/VK4
  5. VK2OZI
  6. VK2FPAR
  7. VK2FAPC
  8. VK2PAA
  9. VK4SMA
  10. VK3PF
  11. VK3KAI

Marija worked the following station on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ZMD
  2. VK3HJJ
  3. VK3YSP
  4. VK3XV
  5. VK3FOWL
  6. VK4NH
  7. VK4DXA
  8. ZL4TY/VK4
  9. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  10. VK2VW
  11. VK2HFI
  12. VK3PF/p (Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464)
  13. VK3OAK/p (Annuello Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2255)
  14. VK2YK/5 (Wiljani Conservation Park VKFF-1159)
  15. VK3LF/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  16. VK5LB
  17. VK3BBB
  18. VK2CCP
  19. VK3OF
  20. VK2ACR
  21. VK3MCA/p (Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2160)
  22. VK4FDJL
  23. VK2YK/5 (Little Mount Crawford Native Forest Reserve VKFF-2884)
  24. VK3EJ
  25. VK3CRG
  26. VK2IO/p (Birds Rock Flora Reserve VKFF-3045)
  27. VK2VH
  28. Vk4AAC
  29. VK5KLV
  30. VK5LA
  31. VK2DG
  32. VK3CWF
  33. VK3NBL
  34. VK8GM/3
  35. VK7LAG
  36. VK5DW
  37. VK3SQ
  38. VK3ZK
  39. VK3YSP/m
  40. VK3ANL
  41. VK2LX
  42. VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)
  43. VK1CT/p (Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-0841)
  44. VK3HJJ/p (Warby Ovens National Park VKFF-0742)
  45. VK6MB/p (Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852)
  46. VK6XN/p (Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980)
  47. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-043)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. ZL1PWM
  2. ZL1TM
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK2LX
  5. VK4NH
  6. VK4DXA
  7. ZL4TY/VK4
  8. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)
  9. VK6MB/p (Wills Nature Reserve VKFF-2852)
  10. VK6XN/p (Kings Park Botanic Garden VKFF-2980)

I worked the following stations on 15m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3YV/p (Bull Beef Creek Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2055)

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5PET
  2. VK5AYL
  3. VK2DG
  4. VK3ZPF/p (Kurth Kiln Regional Park VKFF-0971)
  5. VK5DW
  6. VK2IO/p (SOTA VK2/ CT-043)

Marija and I packed up and we headed to the Mount Compass Tavern where we stopped in for a meal and some liquid refreshment. It was a beautiful meal.

A BIG THANKS to all of the Activators and Hunters who took part in the 2020 VKFF Activation Weekend.

References.

ancestry.com.au, 2020, <https://www.ancestry.com.au/>, viewed 8th December 2020.

Birds SA, 2020, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/nixon-skinner-conservation-park/>, viewed 8th December 2020.

Design & Art Australia Online, 2020, <https://www.daao.org.au/bio/william-millington-nixon/>, viewed 8th December 2020.

Walking SA, 2020, <https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/short-walk-in-nixon-skinner-conservation-park-myponga/>, viewed 8th December 2020.

Wikipedia, 2020, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon-Skinner_Conservation_Park>, viewed 8th December 2020.

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