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Red Rocks Saltwater Creek Coastcare

In 2020 Red Rocks Coastcare was combined with Saltwater Creek Coastcare and are referred to as
RRSWCC; both of which are Auspiced by Phillip Island Conservation Society (PICS) on land managed
by Bass Coast Shire Council.
Red Rocks is located at the end of Red Rocks Rd, Cowes.


History of Red Rocks Coastcare

Auspiced by Phillip Island Conservation Society (PICS) in 1996 when Bass Coast Shire Council commenced participation in the Coastcare/Action network. PICS in conjunction with the Shire of Phillip Island undertook Habitat Projects and infrastructure works between the 1970s and 1990s (p.110 An Island Worth Conserving by C. Grayden).

Aim: to “tackle noxious weeds, dune and cliff erosion, the minimal natural vegetation regeneration and uncontrolled access” (p.47)

Several rounds of funding from Coastcare and the Department of Sustainability and Environment supported the volunteers and the Greencorp team (in 2001) in the removal of Pittosporum and Boxthorn, the installation of fencing to control beach access and protect vegetation and stairs to improve beach access. This resulted in “locals” collecting rubbish on their daily walk.

The Red Rocks area features as Walk 10: “Red Rocks Area: Red Rocks and Blue Wrens” in the book Come for a Walk by D Baird et al.

Over the years, there has been great trouble establishing dune plants on some of the exposed gaps along the north-west facing coastline between Red Rocks Point and Penguin Rocks. Long stem planting was trialed in the winter 2021 and implemented in the following year to improve the plants’ success rate. This is simply a technique of planting 2 to 3 times deeper than normal, to get the plants to access more permanent moisture in the lower soil horizons, away from the drying effects of sun and wind. Plants must be grown long enough, and specially trimmed for this technique to work. Volunteers added slow-release fertilizer to the bottom of the planting hole, as nutrients can be at low levels in the coastal dunes. Preliminary results from the previous year suggested that this method may be worth pursuing (J. Eddy report to volunteers).

Red Rocks 2023 clean up day.png

Red Rocks clean up day (February 2023)

RR Planting June 2022.jpg
Red Rocks Planting Team June 2021.jpg

History of Saltwater Creek

Saltwater Creek is located on the Cowes/Ventnor border.
Formed in Mid-2014, by several people who had a long history in the surrounding area.

Aim: to care for a formerly neglected area which sits between the Red Rocks and Ventnor Coastcare Groups.

Initial project was the “Restoration of Coast Banksia Woodland at Saltwater Creek” Funding supported the use of contractors to remove boxthorn from the creek banks. Volunteers followed up the regrowth with “cut and dab” technique. Kikuyu was another prevalent weed which needed action.

Sunday 27 July 2014 was the first official working bee where 400 plants, supplied by Bass Coast Shire Council, were plants in two sites on both sides of the creek. Weed control and general cleanup work followed in November of that year.

An area from the Anchorage Rd Car Park to the Creek was the next project where 5 large Pittosporums and 2 Boxthorn clumps were removed and well as dumped garden waste.

Members of the local community provided pleasing feedback and encouragement to organize future work. Planting, weed control and clean up working bees continue to this day.

The planting in 2021 was supported by Phillip Island Landcare Group and funded by a Coastcare Vic.
Community Grant. Together with Phillip Island Conservation Society (PICS) volunteers this planting extended the previous planting with infill on both sides of the creek.

PICS has supported this area since 1995 when combined with Landcare and the community planted out substantial areas of the Saltwater Creek Reserve (p.110 An Island Worth Conserving).

Salt Water Creek July Planting.jpg
2022 July Salt Water Creek Group.jpg

July 2022 Saltwater Creek planting day

View of Salt Water Creek and guarded plant.jpg

Get Involved

Working bees are held on a Sunday at intervals through out the year from 10am-12pm, activities include: weeding, planting and rubbish removal, depending on the time of year.

We welcome you to join our group. All ages are welcome

For membership enquiries contact:

Name: Phillip Island Conservation Society



Facebook: Phillip Island Conservation Society

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