Panton Hill Bushland Reserve System

Nillumbik Shire Council owns and manages seven bushland reserves in the Panton Hill, Smiths Gully and Watsons Creek area collectively known as the Panton Hill Bushland Reserve System.

The Reserves

The individual reserves are named using Wurrundjeri names for species found in the Reserves. 

Download an electronic version(PDF, 2MB) of the brochure map, or a printable version(PDF, 3MB) of the Reserves here

The reserves total approximately 140 hectares in area and as a system of reserves, in association with Parks Victoria Reserves and Crown Land, form a corridor of relatively intact remnant bushland extends from Smiths Gully in the North to Watson’s Creek in the South, primarily adjoining Long Gully Creek.

The reserves are significant for their diverse array of native plants, animals and vegetation communities, important regional habitat links, the presence of threatened species, the presence of historical and heritage sites, and opportunities for environmental education and recreation.

Following an extensive period of community consultation spanning six years, Council adopted the Panton Hill Bushland Reserves System Management Plan(PDF, 2MB) in June 2011 as the key document to manage the important conservation, social and recreation values of the reserves.

Deer control program

Deer control is planned to be undertaken at Yirrip Reserve in Panton Hill for one night on either 14, 15 or 16 September 2021, between 6pm and 3am, weather dependent. The Reserve will be closed to public access whilst works are underway.

Signage will be in place in the week prior to works commencing and No Entry signs will be placed at Reserve entrances whilst works are in progress.

Along with the closure of Yirrip Reserve, temporary road closures will be in place on Couties Road and Kings Road, to help prevent unauthorised access to Yirrip Reserve whilst deer control works are undertaken by Council’s specialist contractor, Victorian Pest Animal Control (VPAC).  There will be no access restrictions for households to driveways or property; and emergency vehicle access will be maintained at all times. 

All directly adjacent neighbours of deer control locations will also be notified by text or email 24 hours prior to works commencing. 

We may repeat this process again in October for a second night of deer control works, and would notify you accordingly.

Please note that Victoria Police has approved the deer control works at this location. 

For further information contact the Environment Team or 9433 3111

The Panton Hill Bushland Reserves Interpretation Design Report

The report(PDF, 15MB) has been developed to:

  • Encourage an understanding, appreciation and care within the community of the exceptional and outstanding natural features, biodiversity, social and historical values of these reserves and the natural environment in general.
  • Ensure that the Panton Hill Bushland Reserves are responsibly managed as an important social resource and that they provide opportunities for members of the community to enjoy and appreciate the natural environment

Get involved

Over the 40 years since the land that now forms the Panton Hill Bushland Reserves came into public ownership, the reserves have been highly valued by the community as a place for variety of recreational pursuits, including bushwalking, bird watching, horse riding and mountain biking. 

The Panton Hill Bushland Reserves System User Group was established to provide opportunities for volunteers to engage in activities that protect the values of the Panton Hill Bushland Reserves and help manage user impacts.

The aims of this group are to:

  • To assist in planning on-ground activities that promote and protect the values of the reserves.
  • To assist in the implementation of activities that protect these values.
  • To engage users and user groups in the implementation of these activities.

Coordinated and facilitated by Council, the User Group Committee meets on a quarterly basis to discuss on-ground works occurring within the reserves, as well as to plan opportunities for volunteers to get involved in protecting the reserves. 

Volunteer activities are held regularly within the reserves and include a range of works such as weed control, trail maintenance, flora and fauna monitoring, pest animal management, trail monitoring, revegetation and rubbish removal.

For information, or to get involved in the Panton Hill Bushland Reserves System User Group contact Brad Tadday, Senior Environmental Works Officer on 9433 3203 or email