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Lot 50-Kanyanyapilla (L50K) is a private, bi-cultural, ecological and cultural regeneration project near McLaren Vale, South Australia. A reed swamp is being rejuvenated and a grassy woodland re-established at a place that is an ancient Kaurna campground.
The 16 ha (c.40 acres) parcel of land was acquired by Gavin Malone, artist and cultural geographer, in February 2015. When acquired the property was a mix of neglected pasture and waist-high weeds, hiding two areas of sedge along drainage lines, with almost no mid or upper canopy vegetation. The topsoil is sandy and overlays a large sand deposit which was proposed to be mined. For this reason there had been minimal land management for 30 years.
L50K now features three ecosystem types; a remnant reed swamp, remnant sedge lands and the re-generating grassy woodland. The gently undulating land slopes down about 22 metres from a sandy hilltop in the north-east, 64 metres above sea level, to the Maslin Creek swamp which forms the southern boundary. The swamp area of L50K is about 2.8 ha (c.7 acres), a small part of the greater 55 ha Maslin Creek swamp. The balance of the L50K land, 13.2 ha (c.33 acres), has been cleared and used for agricultural purposes for possibly 165 years, agriculture likely commencing in the 1850s. This is now being extensively re-vegetated. A time-lapse camera, courtesy of Timelapse Adelaide, is recording the progress once a week for ten years
Revegetation, L50K, 23.01.2020
Just two and a half years prior, 03.06.2017
The majority of the land is a registered Aboriginal heritage site (SA Aboriginal Heritage Act), likely occupied for several thousand years. For this reason dual naming has been adopted. Cultural and archaeological research is ongoing.
A 10 year Regeneration Plan is now well underway. The Plan adopts a bi-cultural approach, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, and recognises the cultural practices and traditions of both cultures.
L50K is located on the south-western corner of Pethick and Branson Roads, McLaren Vale, and is bordered on the west by the Victor Harbor Road. It is located in the centre of the Willunga Basin about 40 kilometres south of Adelaide. The Willunga Basin, circa 23,500 hectares (235 sq. km) in size, is prime agricultural and viticultural land.
L50K (black dotted), Willunga Basin. McLaren Vale to NE; Willunga to SE; Maslin Beach to NW; Aldinga to SW
Further information about Gavin can be found at Gavin Malone Visual Artist and Cultural Geographer.
Willunga Basin Links
The following groups are involved in community and conservation in the region:
Friends of Aldinga Scrub
Friends of Moana Sands Conservation Park
Friends of Onkaparinga Park
Friends of Willunga Basin
McLaren Vale Biodiversity Project
Willunga Basin Trail
Willunga Environment Centre
The views of and from the place epitomise the Willunga Basin cultural landscape.
(Photos taken late 2014 onwards)
Looking West 1, L50K (2015)
Looking West 2, L50K (2018)Looking East – 1, L50KLooking East – 2, L50K (Feral olives are on northern boundary)
Looking East 3, L50K (Feral olives removed-2018)
Reed Swamp & Viewing Deck, L50K (Winter 2018)Looking South West from L50K (Over Victor Harbor Road)
Water in the Swamp, 2016
In the first week of July 2016 water flowed into the swamp for the first time in a few years. 47 mm of rain fell in 24 hrs following good rains in June. Standing water lasted for several days and then in the third week more rain and more water. And overnight on the last day of the month another 20 mm fell giving the best inflow yet, and water up to 500 mm deep in places. Rainfall for July 125 mm, 55 mm above average.
Feet needed a soak
Swamp plantings get a soak, needed or not
First Open Day, 2015
The first Open Day was held on Sunday 22 November, 2015. Over 150 people came along during the day to wander the land. One of the announcements on the day was the Kaurna name for the place, Kanyanyapilla. An explanation of the name is available on the Cultural History page.
The concept of Kanyanyapilla is bigger than the land of Lot 50 and Lot 50 encompasses also the post settlement history. Bi-cultural naming, Lot 50-Kanyanyapilla, is therefore being maintained for the place and project and what better than Lot 50 to succinctly describe a relation to land subdivision and ownership from the European perspective. Either or both names can be used as appropriate.
Open Day gathering, Nov.2015