About Charles Darwin Reserve


Land uses over time
The Darwin connection

Land uses over time

Charles Darwin Reserve has been used for many purposes. At various times, attempts have been made to graze, crop, mine, harvest timber and entertain tourists on this country.

In many respects, it is fortunate that the land had limited capacity to meet these expectations. It has avoided the fate of land to the south, which has been extensively cleared for dryland agriculture, and to the north, where the pastoral leases have been heavily grazed. Had some or all of these various activities been successful, there would be very little conservation value remaining.

We hope that through this material you will gain an appreciation of the beauty and significance of this land, and get an understanding of how it survived virtually in its natural state. We will explore how it works as an ecosystem, how various people through the ages perceived and used the land, and why many respected it sufficiently to contribute to its protection.

This area of land has now come almost full circle. It began as natural bushland and salt lakes and was likely occupied for more than 40,000 years by Aboriginal groups including the Badimia people. It lay relatively undisturbed by their hunting and gathering lifestyle. Then it began a new era as a sheep station. Now, its value as native bush has once again been recognised and it is being protected for nature conservation. There is renewed involvement and interest from Indigenous people and its cultural values are once again being respected.

The creation of Charles Darwin Reserve demonstrates how Australian and international thinking, policies and activities by both governments and citizens have changed; from seeing the land as a resource to be exploited, to seeing the values it offers in its natural condition.

Charles Darwin would surely have supported the spirit of wonder that this reserve engenders amongst all who visit, observe it and contribute to its protection, and where nature’s evolutionary processes are again operating unhindered.


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