There’s a bit of excitement at Franke Scrub, in Highfields.
After a year of planning and co-ordinating with Toowoomba Landcare, Condamine Alliance, and the Toowoomba Regional Council, the Friends of Franke Scrub have installed a large sign...
...and a trail of 12 small ones, to help visitors recognise some of the 76 species of native plants growing in the scrub.
They are placed around the edge of the scrub, so are easy to find (and the walk is easy on your shoes, not requiring you to plunge into the scrub’s muddy depths!)
Franke Scrub is a small (about 1.5 hectares) piece of dry rainforest close to Toowoomba. Although this kind of vegetation would once have been very common in Toowoomba and Highfields, it is now so rare on our red soil that Franke Scrub represents a very precious remnant indeed.
Many Toowoomba people are surprised to find that it was an environment like this, rather than eucalypt-dotted grassland, which may have been the original ecosystem on what is now their suburban gardens.
Like all rainforest vegetation, it is very species-rich. It contains more than 50 tree and shrub species, and more than 15 kinds of climbers.
The Friends of Franke Scrub have a partnership with Peacehaven Botanic Park, where many of the same species have been planted. After five years they are demonstrating how attractive they can look when grown in garden conditions.
For an eco-friendly garden, designed to appeal to local birds and butterflies, we need look no further than to our local native plants!
To find Franke Scrub, from Toowoomba:
Head north along Ruthven Street (New England Highway).
6k from Toowoomba’s last traffic lights, you come to Highfields’ first set.
Turn left into Cawdor Road, then after 1.6k turn left into Cawdor Drive.
After another 2.2k turn right into Franke Road.
Franke scrub is 1k along, at the end of a section of dirt road (suit 2wd).