Kyneton on Riverside Boosts Biodiversity

Over the past ten years, Kyneton on Riverside has transformed an empty patch of land into something extraordinary, a residential community thoughtfully designed to blend with the existing elegance of the old Kyneton township. There has been a mindful contribution to enhancing the natural landscape and the biodiversity of fauna, flora and waterways in this area. This works hand in hand with the Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s Cool Changes program, designed to empower residents to address climate change in their local townships and surrounds by creating community-led, collaboratively developed Community Climate Action Plans. One project coming from the Cool Changes: Kyneton Action Plan is the creation of the Kyneton Habitat Initiative.

Landscape Architect Flynn Hart from Pollen says biodiversity was the focus for Kyneton on Riverside from the beginning. Various points were considered for the planting process such as: linking with the species in the Old Kyneton streetscapes; and the inclusion of a wide variety of plants, (exotic, indigenous, climate and disease resistant, those which would be of benefit to the waterway and encourage pollinators, invertebrates and wildlife). With the development of each stage, landscape architects are able to identify which species are thriving and can continue to experiment by adding new plants.

The Macedon Ranges Shire Council has been kept up to date with the Kyneton on Riverside landscaping process and on the maintenance required in the future. The DjaDja Wurrung people also had a voice in the project. As part of the Council’s Cool Changes program, the council held various workshops and invited community members to create action groups to address the local impacts of climate change. Justin Walsh, Sustainability Officer of the Environment Department at MRSC, is assisting to help these projects grow, including the Kyneton Habitat Initiative, which aims to involve 50 households in Kyneton to improve the urban native biodiversity by planting native/indigenous plants in their gardens and verges. 

Christine Cooney is a member of the Initiative and is asking for expressions of interest for those residents who would like to diversify their gardens, including those living at Kyneton on Riverside. The project is also seeking community members who have expertise to assist. The Kyneton Habitat Initiative is an ongoing project and people will be able to get on board at any stage. Chris says, “The most exciting thing. . .is that we are getting people to consider having native and indigenous plants in their gardens to attract native wildlife and insects and develop habitats”.

Flynn, echoes this statement, saying, “Systems and information which encourage people to look at their backyard as part of a wider system, as a patchwork or a wider habitat, and corridor for species to move through, is an excellent ambition. It is inspiring to have this information available to the wider community”. With the landscape of Kyneton on Riverside as an example to local residents and projects such as the Kyneton Habitat Initiative in progress, the region is full of support for the wider community to do their part in increasing biodiversity.

To get involved and meet the team behind Kyneton Habitat Initiative, email