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Wedge-tailed Eagles nesting at Upper Pinkerton 2014

pic3 th28th July 2014

Wedgies observing courting & mating on Mt Cottrell by Frances Overmars & Daryl Akers while planting in the crater of Mt Cottrell. A magnificent panorama but it was very cold & windy!
About a dozen Kangaroos were beside the track, a little way in from the front gate, out of the wind. They ignored us as we drove past them up the track. There were another 16 or so just beside the crater. They took off as we came close.

Updated: Sunday, 08 March 2015 00:19


Koalas in Pinkerton

Koala hnb 10 12 07 thKoalas can still be seen in the woodland remnants around Melton.

Koalas appear to have made a tentative return to Pinkerton Forest. Quarterly bird surveys by Birdlife Australia and Pinkerton Landcare & Environment group have observed Koalas on three occasions in the twelve months.

Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:24


Pinkerton Family Time Capsule Opening 8th November 2017 and Family Picnic

time capsule headstone thOfficial opening of time capsule

On Wednesday 8th November 2017 the time capsule placed in the memorial cairn in in 1931 and 1992 beside the family graves in Pinkerton Forest was opened in a ceremony attended by many dignitaries, reflecting the importance placed on the environmental, cultural and heritage values of Pinkerton Forest by Melton Council, Western Water and the State Government.

Updated: Monday, 12 February 2018 11:40


Pinkerton Family Heritage

European Heritage, Pinkerton Family
The area has an important historical significance for Melton and District. 
A Headstone erected by the descendants of the Pinkertons on the grave of  Margaret, wife of James Pinkerton, and 4 grandchildren.   A wooden feeding trough, still survives     A Plaque describing the Pinkerton Family history.

Historical Note:

James and Margaret Pinkerton & Family left Glasgow, Scotland on 8 July 1839 - sailing from Greenock on the Barque "Superb".  They arrived at Port Phillip on 4 December 1839.  In 1840 they settled in the Keilor District on a property called "Chamois Ponds".  In 1848 the property was burnt-out and the family moved to the Werribee River, settling on the new property "Yaloke".   In 1855 Margaret Pinkerton died & was buried in Pinkerton Forest.  Between 1857 & 1860 4 grandchildren died (aged 9,8,1 & 2 years) and were also buried in the forest. A cairn was erected over the graves in 1931.   After adverse times W J Clarke ("Big Clarke") acquired the property in 1862 and James Pinkerton retired to Bacchus Marsh where he died in 1869.

Descendants of Note:

Archibald James Campbell

-Expertise in Australian Birds & Native flowers, particularly Wattles.

A J Campbell was one of the founders of Wattle Day, and he planted wattles around the original cairn in the forest.

Yellow Wattle

It is the shining glory of our hills and streams:
when other flowers lie hidden, it radiates boldly forth
its richest treasures of gold. It redeems the wilderness,
and illuminates the ragged breaks between the scrub.

Floods will not drown it, nor fire destroy it:
After forest fires, seeds germinate more freely.
When neglected, it flourishes, yet it takes kindly
to cultivation, in park and beside the roadside verge.

Poets and prophets have searched for epithets:
apples of silver in baskets of gold. Yet it expresses
all moods. There is the silver wattle for gladness,

the weeping wattle for grief. The happy may rejoice
in its billowing splendour, the bereaved find gentle
solace as if gathered in as one, unto its tender grace.


Poem by Ian Campbell (
a descendant of A J Campbell), adapting words used in a review of 'Golden Wattle' (1921) by A J Campbell.

James Pinkerton Campbell

Founder of Film Australia & Official Australian War Photographer in Egypt in WW1.

Descendants photo, taken at the 'Celebration of the new extension of Pinkerton Forest on Friday 6 October 2006.

Names are L to R -  Noel Fethers, Bryan Campbell, Don Nardella MP, Dorothy Campbell (wife of John) and John Campbell' 

Updated: Monday, 02 March 2015 00:10

Indigenous plants of Pinkerton Forest


Pinkerton Forest (50ha) and Bush’s Paddock (45 ha) are located in the Shire of Melton on the western slope of Mt. Cotterell. They form part of the Victorian Volcanic Plains bioregion and contains the ecological vegetation classes of plains grassland, plains grassy woodland, plains grassy wetland and plains sedgy wetland.

The average rainfall is 450mm focusing on Mt. Cotterell (height 204 metres).
These basalt plains grasslands are of State significance and are important as there remains just 0.01percent of native grasslands in Victoria today.

Pinkerton Landcare and Environment Group co-jointly manages the restoration of the grasslands in association with Western Water (Pinkerton Forest) and the Shire of Melton (Bush’s Paddock)

Restoration planting and propagation
Restoration planting has been undertaken using seeds from local provenance in the Mt. Cottrell/Exford region. Some of these have been propagated by members of the group. The species selection and composition for Pinkerton Forest has been modelled on the nearby Eynesbury woodland, of national significance, these being Sweet bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), Fragrant salt bush (Rhagodia parabolica), Golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha), and Gold dust wattle (Acacia acinacea). The planting of the regionally significant Turkey-bush (Eremophila deserti), propagated by a member of the group has been undertaken.

The result is that the grey box seedlings started growing, and gradually the understory, the previously unnoticed shrubs such as Turkey bush (Eremophilia deserti), Sweet bursaria (Bursaria spinosa) and Tree violet (Hymenanthera dentata) started to reappear. Lightwood and Gold-dust wattle (Acacias implexa and acinacea) have sprung up from nowhere, certainly not in the trial area which was burnt a few years ago, rare fungi have popped up, the native stipa grasses have set seed, and wild flowers such as Tufted blue bell (Wahlenbergia communis), White Lobe-seed daisies (Brachyscome dentata), New Holland daisy (Vittadinia cuneata), and Pussy tails (Ptilotus spathulatus) have flowered and set seed.

The grasslands are seen at their best in spring and summer when the wildflowers are flourishing and the native grasses are setting seed.

After six years of restoration work the wildlife has started to return to the woodland, using it as part of the Exford network of grassy grey box woodlands linked to the Werribee River.

Updated: Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:32

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