Dawn Atwell Reserve Project
The Dawn Atwell Reserve is a 59ha Shire of Toodyay Reserve, originally set aside for ‘Camping, and now designated for ‘Conservation of Flora and Fauna’. Located in Julimar Road, some 15km west of the Toodyay town, the reserve has significant flora conservation values.
Former reserve neighbour (and a TNC member), Frank Turnbull, was instrumental in highlighting the significance of the conservation values of this reserve.
The following four major vegetation types are found in the reserve, with their accompanying understorey:
- Banksia woodland of Banksia attenuata, Banksia menziesii (with sedge understorey, including Carex fascicularis - tassel sedge and other Carex spp.);
- Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata)dominated woodland;
- Old growth woodland of Wandoo (Eucalyptus wandoo), Jarrah (Eucalyptus. Marginata), Marri (Corymbia calophylla); and
- Powderbark wandoo (Eucalyptus accendens) dominated breakaway.
WWF has developed a management plan for the reserve, with most of the recommendations from the plan being implemented. This has included removal of rubbish, control of weeds, education of locals by inappropriate off-road vehicle usage, education on fallen logs as wildlife refuge.
Dawn was small in statue, but made up for this with her exuberance for life. The Atwell family farmed in Toodyay from the 1800s, and Dawn continued this tradition until illness forced her retirement.
The late Dawn Atwell was one of the four ‘founding members’ of the TNC, and an Honorary Life Member. She was a member of the TNC Management Committee from 1968 to 2001, including Vice President (1980-1984), President (1984-1987) and Minutes Secretary (1987-1992).
In 2016, for safety reasons the TNC changed its Keep Australia Beautiful WA Adopt-a-Spot to Julimar Road, adjascent to the Dawn Atwell Reserve, and some of its approaches.
Pictured below (left) is the sign in the reserve, and rehabilitation of open areas with tree planting (right)