The Society has been active in local conservation issues since 1966 and is well networked with the broader conservation movement across NSW.
The Society's Constitution states its Aims and Objectives as:
a. The education of the members and the community, particularly in the local area, in nature conservation and protection of the environment;
b. To promote ecologically sustainable land use and development;
c. To promote nature conservation including an adequate system of national parks, wilderness areas, nature reserves, wildlife refuges and corridors and urban bushland reserves; adequate protection measures for native wildlife;
d. Achieving satisfactory measures to safeguard the environment from all forms of pollution to ensure clean air, clean water and a healthy environment;
e. To work for the permanent retention and conservation of all natural areas in the local district and an increase in the area set aside for nature conservation and
f. To undertake the management of the Field of Mars Reserve with Ryde City Council as a major conservation project
We have a regular newsletter Wallumetta which is issued six times a year which attempts to update members on both local environmental issues and issues of wider impact. Our volunteer members keep the Visitors Centre open each weekend. Please contact us if you have concerns about threats to our local natural areas and the precious native fauna which depend on our sensitive bushland areas and waterways.
In the mid 1960s, with an increasing amount of waste needing disposal, Ryde Council looked to an expansion of the small tip in the Field of Mars Reserve. Council proposed to pipe Buffalo and Stranger's Creeks to facilitate a landfill area to a depth of up to 15m feet which could then be re-developed into playing fields. Local residents united to form the Anti-tip Action Group and lobbied to reverse Council's plans for a tip at the Field of Mars. The tip was moved to Porter's Creek which to this day still requires substantial funds to control the environmental damage arising from past use as a tipsite. With the Field of Mars saved the Society was established in January 1966.
In September 1966, Ryde Council advised the Society that it agreed to their proposal to development of the Field of Mars Reserve as a flora and fauna sanctuary. Hard work over following decades has seen restoration of old degraded areas of the Field of Mars and protection of the area as a Wildlife Refuge. A Visitors Centre was built and then the Environmental Education Centre which is visited by about 10,000 students each year.
Events planned for the next few months are:
• Saturday 20 April: Walking Back in Time – guided bushwalks led by Phillip Ward.
• Saturday 4 May: Microbats – a presentation being organized by City of Ryde Council.*
• Saturday 1 June: Bird walks – led by our popular and knowledgeable guide, Cathy Goswell.
• Sunday 28 July: National Tree Day – event being organized by City of Ryde Council.*
• Sunday 11 August: Family Day – for all ages, featuring activities, walks, talks and lunch.
All these events will be held at or near the Field of Mars Visitor Centre.
* For events organized by City of Ryde Council, see https://www.ryde.nsw.gov.au/Events/Listing
Registration is essential for walks on 20 April and 1 June, as group numbers are limited to 12. Children aged 5-12 are welcome but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Wear closed shoes and a hat. In the event of bad weather walks may be postponed or cancelled.
Light refreshments are available at the Visitor Centre; donations welcome.
For further information and registration: email email@example.com or leave a message for Alfred on 9879 6067.
Walking Back in Time – Saturday 20 April
We will look at parts of the bushland which were and still are considered worthy of preservation, learn about changes over the past 50 to 100 years, and see features not commonly known.
Walks will be of moderate difficulty, 1½ - 2 hours’ duration, departing 10.30am and 1.30pm.
Bird Walks – Saturday 1 June
See and hear the variety of birds along the creek valleys in the Field of Mars.
Bring your own binoculars if you have them; a limited supply may be available to borrow. Walks will be easy grade, 1 - 1½ hours’ duration.