Environment Park Subotopic Layout
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Vegetation gradually became established on Mount Richmond and many hardy native plants now grow successfully on the infertile sandy soil. About 450 species of plants have been recorded in the park, including 50 orchid species. Correas, heaths, wattles and Bush Peas provide spectacular colours in spring, but there are plants flowering in Mount Richmond at almost any time of the year.
The well-drained soils near the summit support a forest dominated by Brown Stringbark with small pockets of Manna Gum. Further down the slopes, the main eucalypts are Shiny-leaf Peppermint and Swamp Gum (common in the picnic area) with an under-storey of grass trees, heath and many colourful annual and perennial plants. The wet heathlands are dominated by Swamp Paperbark.
Salt-laden winds have a marked effect on the vegetation in exposed areas, as you will discover on the Benwerrin Nature Walk.
The park's varied habitats support a wide range of wildlife. Eastern Grey Kangaroos graze near the picnic areas and Koalas may be seen in the nearby eucalypts in drier months. Red-necked Wallabies occur throughout the park and Echidnas can often be seen foraging for ants. Copperhead and Tiger Snakes are sometimes seen sunning themselves on a warm day.
Mount Richmond is an important habitat for the uncommon Southern Potoroo; a small member of the kangaroo family, it is seldom seen as it lives in thick undergrowth and is only active at night.
There are no creeks on Mt Richmond - rainwater fills depressions to form swamps and wet heathlands which are favorable habitats for many birds and other animals. Birds include the Emu, Crimson Rosella, Gang-gang Cockatoo and Currawong. Smaller birds frequently seen include honeyeaters, thornbills, wattlebirds, Silver-eyes, robins, finches and tree creepers. Among the less common bird species are the Southern Emu-Wren, Beautiful Firetail, King Quail and Rufous Bristlebird.