THE LAST FEW HUNDRED YARDS – Paisley-Challis Wetlands, Williamstown

It’s been a couple of weeks since I made the trip down to Williamstown’s coastal walking path to try and capture another photo of the Royal Spoonbills (Platalea regia) in the Jawbone Flora and Fauna Conservation Reserve – that shot will come in the next post.

I’ve been a little slow in posting some images of that walk partly due to a sore wrist (hairline fracture so it’s in a splint), but more importantly because I wanted to read up on the area known as the Paisley-Challis Wetlands.

The restoration of this area of wetlands/saltmarsh is a resounding success and to be honest, I wish I’d made many more photos of the low-lying plants close-up.

Maybe next visit.

This post is about the last few hundred yards of walking path which I last looked over, but did not walk, on 1st February, 2018 –  shown by the broken line in the top left-hand corner of the map.  Or you could say, ‘the start‘ of the walking path I suppose.  It’s accessible by bus or car (or if you want to do a longer walk back to Williamstown Beach – via train – far right-hand side of the image).

This post was also delayed due to the fact that most people might find this area fairly ‘ordinary’ to view from my images and since my blog is about photography, I wondered if followers might find my images rather mundane.

I hesitated to include it on my nature blog.

But its the very ordinary nature of this last few hundred yards that make it extraordinary.

You can read more about Saltmarsh and its importance to the local flora and fauna in this excellent article here.

While the article was written by the New South Wales (state to the north of my state of Victoria) Department of Primary Industries, it was instrumental in my understanding of Saltmarsh areas. 

The restoration was started in 2003 and the information board, at the Maddox Road end, provides the image which shows what a marvellous feat of renewal this project was (courtesy of Hobsons Bay City Council).  I felt you can better appreciate what appears to be low-lying scrubby landscape  by seeing the ‘before’ image – slightly blurred as it is.

NOTE: As always, if you think my plant identification is incorrect in this post, please let me know in the comment section so I can update the name.

So here’s an overview of this small area  which covers approximately 5 acres.  I found it interesting and well worth the trip, but reading the background of these Wetlands on the internet brings the story to life.

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13 thoughts on “THE LAST FEW HUNDRED YARDS – Paisley-Challis Wetlands, Williamstown

  1. It’s such a treat to see how skilled people can shape and transform a landscape. My favorite photo’s the one where you commented on all the colors and shapes — that really would be quite a site to explore. Of course, I’d have to spend some time watching the machinery, too. I’m always fascinated by the ways they’re used.

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    1. The photographer (and also 2 cyclists who stopped to chat) told me so much about the different bird life, that I feel compelled to re-visit and find some sort of path through this low-lying scrubby saltbush. Maybe there’s a path closer to the actual beach and sea and I can approach this site from another direction (instead of the formal walking/cycling path).

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      1. Now I’m wondering if your little pun in your title was intentional. I kept wondering why the name of the place seemed so familiar, and I finally remembered that ‘challis’ was a kind of fabric much in favor when I was younger. A few hundred yards of paisley challis could make quite a few dresses!

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    1. …..and to think the natural coastal area was historically undervalued and considered by many to be boggy swamps and wastelands of little practical use. As a result, many saltmarsh areas have been drained, reclaimed, become degraded from a range of human activities or otherwise lost and then………..renewed and landscaped back to the original salt marsh. I’m inspired by this redevelopment to explore the area on another visit. Since I can’t walk as far as I used to, I guess I’ll have to do a bit of research to find the nearest path down to the foreshore and public transport first.

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  2. Wetland restoration is SO important, and it’s great that it’s being done. But it always makes me sad to see how industrial and/or residential areas surround these all-too-rare oases, and how few choices animals are left with when it comes to finding a stopover, or a permanent home.

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    1. I agree Tanja. I guess we just have to be thankful more awareness of our immediate environment and the importance of wild places to the survival of the native flora and fauna, is becoming 🙂

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