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Yarra River Valley Park and Finns Reserve Landscape Analysis Report

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Updated: Jun 13th, 2020


Finns Research and Yarra River Valley Park in Templestowe, Melbourne, are the objects of the study. The two are recreational facilities situated within an urban setting. They were designed as places where individuals and families could play and socialize. Of interest in this study is the landscape in these two places from the ecological perspective. The places have both anthropological and natural origin, making it very important for various functions. Production and recycling are some of the functions that the landscape can support. It will be important to understand how these new functions can be incorporated into a system that is already acting as a recreational center. The new functions should not affect the current functions of the facility. The report seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To conduct an analysis of the landscape on the basis of structural, functional, and change values.
  2. To expand knowledge about landscape ecology principles.

Study Area

The study area will be Yarra River Valley Park and Finns Reserve, both of which are located in Templestowe in the city of Melbourne (App. 1). The report released by Finns Reserve (2014), it is clear that Yarra River Valley Park and Finns Reserve have forest plantations with a well-developed infrastructure. The infrastructure includes footbridge that passes over the Yarra River, a network of paths, fitness centers, shelters, dog training facilities, a playground, picnic tables, and car-parking facilities (App. 2-4.).


The researcher used various methods to make an observation for this study. The services of Google maps enabled the researcher to have clear aerial images of the forest. Conducting a physical field inspection of the entire area on foot was important to authenticate the findings from Google maps.


The Structure of the Landscape

It was ascertained that the two regions that this research focuses on lies on a piece of land that is over 4.08 kilometers (Finn’s reserve). Main Yarra Trail lies to the north of the boundary, Duncan Street is on the eastern boundary, Templestowe is on its south, and the residential area on Green slopes Drive is on its western boundary (App 1). The larger part of this landscape is flat, with river Yarra and some hills. The elevation range was determined to be about 5 meters. It is not richly diversified in terms of topography. The landscape is an open area that has no major constructions, but with a considerable size of plantations. It has black soil that is very fertile.

The vegetation in this area is opulent. Shrubs, herbaceous plans, and various trees are all over the place. Assessment of the vegetation reveals that they have not been subjected to heavy human activities. The open grassy areas of the site are larger than the zones where trees are planted, which means that shady locations form a small percentage compared to the open fields. Constant human presence in the area has reduced the existence of wildlife in this site. It was also observed that the area has an average mean annual rainfall. There is a near-perfect balance between rainfall periods and dry seasons, making the place very appropriate for human activities. From April to October, the region experiences heavy downpours (Climate data online 2014). It has a moderate climate with mild winters and hot summers. The only reliable source of water in the area under focus is the Yarra River.

Major landscape components in the area include native plants like vestures, exotic trees, toilets, picnic areas, playgrounds, hiking roads, and shelters. It was also observed that there were patches of different kinds, from the oval playgrounds to traditional squares. The site has both naturally occurring patches and those created due to human activities. As would be expected, the naturally occurring patches have irregular shapes, while those that occur due to human activities have specific shapes. The landscape in the study has various linear strips such as the river, hiking roads, and biking paths. All other linear strips were constructed by people except the naturally occurring river. It was also observed that the naturally occurring linear forms (the river) have a larger width as compared to those constructed by people.

The Yarra River Valley Park’s mosaic is dominated by elements such as forests, fitness areas, playgrounds, walking roads, scout facilities, walking roads, car parking, picnic areas, and fences. Quantitative estimation of the components of the site revealed that a larger part of the area (about 55 percent) is an open space characterized by facilities constructed by people. The other 45 percent of the area has both natural and exotic tries, and other forms of vegetations.

The Landscape Function

The landscape is currently meant for recreational services. Friends and families come to Yarra River Valey Park and Finns Reserve to have fun. Their picnics are conducted in areas covered by trees, while hiking and biking activities are conducted on the linear sites. Reproduction can also be considered to be another function of the landscape for plants and wild animals. The presence of vegetation in this air facilitates the cleaning of the air by eliminating carbon dioxide and injecting oxygen. Therefore, it is correct to say that recycling takes place in the area.

The Landscape Flows

In this landscape, groundwater flows from various parts to form small streams that flow into the river during rainy seasons. From the northern end, water enters the landscape through the Yarra River and flows down to the southern border of the zone. The size of the river increases, especially from April through to October. Within these zones, a number of small streams would direct waters, especially when it is raining, to River Yarra.

However, these small streams disappear once the rainy season comes to an end. The river ensures that there is continuity in the flow once it receives water from the small inlets. Changes in the landscape’s structure due to constant human activities have not affected water flow in this landscape. Historical facts reveal that a section of the locals settled along the river because of the need for a reliable source of water (Pringle 2006). However, this settlement did not have an effect on the flow of water in the territory. Incidences such as submergence of places that are close to Yarra River are rare unless the place experiences exceptional downpour.

The Landscape Changes

The landscape of this park has undergone some changes over the past two decades. The park’s management unit has been keen on enhancing the conditions of the park to ensure that people who visit get good services. One area that they changed was the heterogeneous character of the park. They introduced parking areas, fitness areas, picnic corners, walkways, and grounds for various forms of games. The existing reports show that over a century ago, this area did not have any form of recreational infrastructure.

However, the site was already popular among the locals and visitors in the region who wanted a serene environment where they could hold their trade fairs next to nature. Families came to the site for sporting activities and other recreational services. During that time, the site had a greener and more natural look than it is today. The asphalted paths, facilities for car parking, and areas where people could conduct their picnics did not exist (Pringle 2006).

According to Mattar (2008), a century ago, the area that is currently part of Finns Resort was an open field used by the locals to meet various household needs. The scholar says that the area was occupied by the famous James Finn, who developed a small hotel. The two-storied hotel remained unlicensed till the year 1922.

Anthropogenic and economic factors are the key influencers of changes that have occurred in this territory (Mattar 2008). The local community (Manningham) has been using the open space near the river for the purpose of socialization and recreation. The community budget also gets part of its financing from this reserve (Finns reserve 2014).

The park’s structure is expected to experience a number of changes in the future as it seeks to meet the changing demands of the visitors. One area that is expected to change is the infrastructure due to the expected increase in the number of visitors and the invention of new outdoor games. Functional changes may likely remain unchanged. The conclusion has been reached based on the increasing relevance of the park and the increased number of people living close to the park.

List of References

2014. Web.

Finns reserve 2014. Web.

Mattar, Y 2008, ‘Post-industrialism and Silicon Valley as models of industrial governance in Australian public policy’, Telematics and Informatics, vol. 25 no. 4, pp. 246-261. Web.

Pringle, J 2006, Beyond Melbourne, Edmonton, Alta. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Yarra River Valley Park and Finns Reserve Landscape Analysis." June 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/yarra-river-valley-park-and-finns-reserve-landscape-analysis/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Yarra River Valley Park and Finns Reserve Landscape Analysis'. 13 June.

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