Original Landscape

Kooweerup Swamp

Natural Flora and Fauna

Native Species Photo Collection

Clyde and Cardinia Creeks

Railway Cutting and Bridge

Hawthorn Hedges

Cyprus and Pine Groves


History for Students

Land Features
Original Landscape
Some descriptions and records of the topography of the Clyde area at the time of the early settlers.

Sherwood Map 1857
(1857 Sherwood Map from State Library Victoria)

The 1857 Sherwood Map showing the southern section of Clyde indicates the type
of native vegetation to be found.

The area is described as "Open plains with scattered tea-tree scrub, thinly timbered with lightwood, with some sandy soil"

Clyde's Native Vegetation
At this time Tooradin Plains were covered with a 'rich meadow of native succulent grasses' and great claims were made for the area. While this fine land lay to the south of the present Clyde township, much of the country in between consisted mostly of ferns and ti-tree scrub 10-15 ft. high with stunted gum trees to about 30 ft. Peppermint gums predominated with a few Manna Gums and wild cherry trees and wattles. Generally the native grasses were poor and this led to the country gaining the reputation of 'cripple country'. Cattle grazed in the area for a long period of time and suffered from the poor natural fodder - the soil lacked lime. Fertilizers, however, improved the pastures in later years.

Kooweerup Swamp
Article by Thomas Patterson "Prominent Pioneers"
The greater part of Westernport was thickly timbered, and very wet; indeed Captain Wright in 1827 reported that “the sterile, swampy and impenetrable nature of the country surrounding Westernport Bay induced him to believe that it was unsuitable for colonisation.” A writer in the early station days alluded to it as “the fen country”, and a visitor in the winter once said, with pardonable hyperbole, it was “all a lake”. But in the course of time the dying out of the timber and the draining of the land completely altered the character of the country, and the ameliorating effect of burning-off over large areas must be taken into account.

Super Phosophate brings farming results in 1920s
It was in the late 1920's that real progress increased production and higher stock carrying capacity began. Although prior to that, sub-division into smaller paddocks, and sowing down with English Rye Grass and Clover, had been replacing the native Kangaroo Grass with consequent better returns from live stock, but the practice of top-dressing with Super Phosphate had most spectacular results to the extent of raising carrying capacity by 100 percent and more.

1. Thomas Patterson, Australiasian Post, December 24, 1932

2. Map from the State Library of Victoria: 1857 Sherwood Map
3. Perce Hardy Remembers
4. A Clyde History: First Land Sales

5. Sherwood Map 1857 - State Library of Victoria

With gratitude we acknowledge the traditions of the Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation who cared for the land and preserved its flora and fauna