Ashby Reserve

Ashby Reserve is amongst the largest of City of Mitcham's undeveloped woodland reserves. It is situated approximately two kilometres south-west of the Belair Country Fire Service station.

Cycling Walking and Hiking trails
end of Gulfview Road
Facilities Park
  • Bike / walking path

Sports Played

  • Hiking
  • Mountain Bike riding

Facilities Available

10 kilometres of shared use walking and bike off road trail, available to the public during daylight hours. Please note closed on total fire ban days.

Ashby Reserve is amongst the largest of City of Mitcham's undeveloped woodland reserves. It is situated approximately two kilometres south-west of the Belair Country Fire Service station. The reserve is irregular in shape with residential development on its northern, southern and eastern boundaries. The exception to this is its western boundary, which joins Watiparinga National Trust Reserve ("Watiparinga").

The present day "Ashby Reserve" consists of the former Gulfview Reserve (R513, 4.45 hectares) and Ashby Reserve (R501, 20.23 hectares). An internal Council memorandum on 20th June 1984 from the deputy town clerk states that the two reserves are to be combined and will retain the title R501- Ashby.

In 1881 a syndicate of gentleman had invested in land along the proposed route of the railway and this lead to the subdivision of Blackwood, Eden Hills and Belair. It would appear that land clearing took place during the 1870s for Section 2203 Hundred of Adelaide as the description changed from "house and land" to "grassland" (property description from the Mitcham District Council Rate Assessment Books). During the 1880s and 1890s when the railway line and tunnels were constructed through the Watiparinga Reserve, workers would pass through Ashby Reserve and Watiparinga with bullock teams to the Belair Hotel. These trails are still visible today and some were upgraded to fire tracks within Ashby Reserve and Watiparinga National Trust Reserve. The syndicate attempted to subdivide land around the railway route but were caught in an economic depression and were unsuccessful in that venture. In 1895 a farmer from Alma in the mid-north, Frederick Mableson purchased the sections and the family attempted dairying. Although Frederick died in 1902 the family continue to own the land until 1911 when it was purchased by Ernest C. Saunders and Edwin Ashby. Eden Hills railway station was installed making access to the additional subdivisions more attractive.

The Ashby family purchased the land now known as Ashby Reserve from the Rainer family who utilised the property to graze dry cows, as part of a dairy farm. When purchased in the 1930s the property was predominantly cleared with some patches of remnant vegetation. The Ashby's cleared very little of the land. The property was used in conjunction with Watiparinga for livestock grazing. The Ashby's managed the property as part of the larger Wittunga Farm until the 1960s, which included the Watiparinga land.

By the mid 1960s the subject land became Ashby and Gulfview Reserve as part of a land subdivisional requirement, in which land was set aside for community open space. During the period 1965-1975, little action occurred on the reserve with the exception of some grazing. Ashby Reserve and the former Gulfview Reserve were previously cleared, sown to pasture, fertilised with superphosphate and grazed for many years. The properties were later abandoned as farm land at the time of subdivision. In 1968 the existing bullock tracks used in the 1880s were excavated to make a fire track near Baeckea Crescent, leading into Watiparinga.

During 1975-1994 The National Trust of SA undertook an environmental weed control and revegetation program in Ashby/Gulfview and Sleeps Hill Reserves. Weeds of concern included ash trees, olives, African daisy, boneseed and broom. Early on there was opposition from nearby residents regarding the removal of mature ash trees. Therefore "showy" non-indigenous natives were planted in their place and this appeased the concerned residents. In 1989 small populations of indigenous orchids were discovered.

Ashby Reserve Maintenance Plan(5271 kb)

Contact Us

Tel 08 8372 8888

Fax 08 8372 8101

Email Us

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Locate Us

PO Box 21

Mitcham Shopping Centre

Torrens Park SA 5062

131 Belair Road

Torrens Park SA 5062


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