On our club’s recent visit to this reserve the weather was rather cold and bleak so I took the opportunity recently to have another quick look.
The Union Jack Education Area is accessed at the end of Elizabeth Street, East of Warrenheip St, Buninyong, and from Wirreanda Drive off Yankee Flat Rd. The reserve is managed by Parks Victoria and the vegetation is heathy dry forest. In winter there the flowers of common heath provide glimpses of colour. There is lots of moss and lichen, occasional fungi and the leaves of orchids beginning to emerge. Many small birds may be seen flying in and out of the bracken.
The area was named after a party of miners from Scotland, Ireland & England, who discovered the Union Jack Nugget in 1857. Keep to the designated tracks as there are a lot of old mine sites. Avoid the area if there are strong winds as coppice regrowth is liable to fall across the tracks.
The Locomotive Mine site is at the Wirreanda Drive end of the reserve. A plaque recognises the rescue efforts when two miners, Arthur Dunstan and Albert Berger both died from ‘bad air’ at the bottom of the shaft. The mine was last worked in the 1933.
Union Jack is home to a variety of birds, mammals and over 280 plants. Follow this link for a map of the reserve.
If you look at the website Visualising Victoria Biodiversity you will be able to create a report and then download a plant list.