Woodlands Historic Park
Twin Dams Paddock

See area 1 on Aerial Photo Map.

Most of this area has been cleared and appears to have been cultivated in the past. The cleared areas are now dominated by Chilean Needle Grass and Wild Oats, with Phalaris in wetter parts. Invasion by Chilean Needle Grass is slightly less advanced in the area marked "a" on the map, where it is possible to find the occasional plant of native grass including Weeping Grass, Wallaby Grass, Tall Wheat Grass, Windmill Grass, Red Leg Grass and Irongrass.

Recently Dead Red Gum in Twin Dams Paddock. Note the wall of saplings surrounding it.
Recently Dead Red Gums in Twin Dams Paddock

There are mature Red Gums along the north-south drainage line, and in the north-west corner are Red Gums with a few Yellow Box. In the latter area ploughing before the land was added to the park has resulted in the growth of Red Gum saplings so dense and so close to the mature trees that some of the latter are under severe stress, and at least three of them died in 2014.

Paterson's Curse on Greenvale Reserve in 2016, looking south from boundary with Twin Dams Paddock
Paterson's Curse on Greenvale Reserve in 2016

The only native shrubs are a few Tree Violets. Weeds include large Boxthorn bushes under many of the trees, several extensive patches of Horehound, and patches of Gorse and St. Johns Wort. Parks Victoria has the gorse under control but the St. Johns Wort is spreading. Paterson's Curse is increasingly common particularly near the boundary with Greenvale Reserve to the south, where there is a large area of it.

Serrated Tussock is common throughout. The lack of any wind-breaks in this area and on Greenvale Reserve makes control difficult, because if there are any mature tussocks anywhere between Somerton Road and Weeroona Cemetery the seed is quickly blown across the whole area.

Some natural regeneration occurred in 2011 - Red Gums in the area of the drainage line, and Golden Wattle and Yellow Box within 30m of the Providence Road fence. (The Yellow Box along the road are quite small.) Friends of Woodlands Historic Park started a multi-year tree planting project in 2016, prior to which the only re-vegetation which had ever taken place was next to the eponymous dams. Restoring this paddock to a woodland would give it some habitat value, would help prevent the spread of weeds and would reduce the noise and visual intrusion from the heavy traffic on Somerton Road and the facilities on Greenvale Reserve.

Rabbits are not a problem in this paddock, with only one abandoned warren seen.

A strip of land along the eastern edge was lent to the council as an access road during construction of the second oval on Greenvale Reserve. Construction finished many years ago but there is no sign of this land being handed back to the park. In fact is seems to be in use as a car park.

According to the latest Management Plan horses are not allowed in Twin Dams Paddock. However as part of the project to fence the former Sanatorium land, a horse entrance was made leading to a fenced corridor inside Twin Dams Paddock giving access to Greenvale Reserve, without the need to ride along Providence Road as before. The fenced corridor was considered too much work to maintain and it is now unfenced. This explains why you may encounter horse manure on the bike path.