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Healing Hamelin

Michelle Judd (Field Officer)
Published 22 Apr 2021 by Michelle Judd (Field Officer)

When the ‘world was soft’ is a term used by Malgana Rangers that fits perfectly with our land management work on Hamelin Station Reserve. It refers to the fact that pre-colonisation there was no heavy machinery or hard-hooved stock.

We are proud to work with Malgana Rangers to gently heal the country.

In October 2019, we held a workshop with Malgana Rangers and environmental restoration consultants. A gully system adjacent to a culturally significant site, and directly impacting Hamelin Pool and the world-renowned Stromatolites, was identified as actively eroding and in need of restoration. 

With our support, the Malgana Rangers have installed sieve rolls (rolled up mesh filled with rocks) within gullies to slow water and encourage soil deposits and revegetation./p>

We have laid out jute matting across bare eroding slopes to trap soil, seed and moisture to encourage vegetation growth. This work, combined with the removal of hard-hooved stock, is enabling the landscape to heal and recover.

During its days as a pastoral station, Hamelin was divided into a five-mile grid of paddocks to manage Merino sheep. These fences impact wildlife and usually have a track running along their length that captures and channels water, leading to erosion. We've also been working with Malgana Rangers to remove fences and decommission tracks so wildlife can move freely, vegetation can grow, and water rehydrate the landscape.

While we work, we laugh, chat, and share Two-way Science. Rangers teach us Traditional Knowledge gained from family and Elders while we discuss knowledge gained from scientists.

The Malgana Ranger team is based out of Gathaaguda (Shark Bay). They're currently working through their Certificate 3 in Conservation and Land Management, with components of their training carried out on Hamelin. It's fantastic that they're now able to use these skills at Hamelin.

We’ve applied for another grant with the Rangelands Natural Resource Management (NRM) to enable us to continue engaging the Malgana Rangers in more restoration works.

The Hamelin Science Fair is coming up in August and we’re looking forward to working alongside the Malgana Rangers and wider Malgana community on that too.


Fence removal on Hamelin is one of the key tasks for the Malgana Rangers when they come on country. Photo by Michelle Judd. Fence removal on Hamelin is one of the key tasks for the Malgana Rangers when they come on country. Photo by Michelle Judd.
Malgana Rangers Alex Dodd, Marika Oakley and Richard Cross. Photo by Michelle Judd. Malgana Rangers Alex Dodd, Marika Oakley and Richard Cross. Photo by Michelle Judd.
Malgana Rangers undertaking erosion work at Hamelin. Photo by Michelle Judd. Malgana Rangers undertaking erosion work at Hamelin. Photo by Michelle Judd.
Ken and the Malgana Rangers brushing over the track once the fence has been removed  Photo by Michelle Judd. Ken and the Malgana Rangers brushing over the track once the fence has been removed Photo by Michelle Judd.

Stories from Hamelin

BLOG 17/11/2022

Western Grasswrens translocated

After extensive genetic and behavioural research, Western Grasswrens from sub-populations at Hamelin Station and Francois Peron National Park were mixed together. The translocation was informed by Aline Gibson Vega’s PhD and is part of a collaboration between DBCA, Bush Heritage Australia and the University of Western Australia.

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BLOG 11/11/2022

Recycling provides new homes for native animals

Tenaya Duncan, Conservation and Wildlife Biology PhD student at Murdoch University, is using salvaged pallets, fence posts and corrugated iron in a unique way – as homes for native wildlife on our reserves!

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BLOG 10/05/2022

New team at Hamelin Outback Station Stay

The Easter long weekend was a great start to what will be a busy year for the new team on the ground at Hamelin Outback Station Stay.

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BLOG 28/09/2021

Hamelin's first artist in residence

A residency at Hamelin Station was a dream come true for artist Janeen Horne. After a chance meeting with Jackie Mahood, Station Stay Manager, she was invited to be the first Artist in Residence at Hamelin Reserve on Malgana country in Western Australia.

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BLOG 06/09/2021

Caretaking at Hamelin Station

Hear from two of our WA volunteers about their recent caretaking experience on our Hamelin Station Reserve.

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BLOG 02/09/2021

Burrowing bees emerge in their thousands

Remote and undisturbed claypans make the perfect nesting site for native bees to thrive at Hamelin Station, WA.

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BLOG 13/07/2021

Quoll patrol 🐾

When it rains, it pours! We recently discovered four Western Quolls (Dasyurus geoffroii) on monitoring cameras at two of our midwest Western Australian reserves over the space of two weeks.

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ichard McLellan is monitoring Sandalwood at Hamelin Reserve. Photo Shayne Thomson.

BUSHTRACKS 18/06/2021

The Great Sandalwood Transect

Across a 1500km arc from the Gibson Desert to Shark Bay, researcher Richard McLellan is uncovering the ecological and cultural value of sandalwood.

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BLOG 22/04/2021

Healing Hamelin

At Hamelin Station Reserve in mid-west Western Australia, Malgana Rangers are hard at work restoring the land.

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Western Grasswren. Photo Ben Parkhurst.

BUSHTRACKS 15/01/2021

Fluent in Grasswren

A young researcher is learning the language of Western Grasswrens at Hamelin Station Reserve to assist with one of Australia’s most ambitious ecological restoration projects.

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BLOG 01/12/2020

A new boundary at Hamelin

Annie and Ian Mayo have been spending the last couple of months removing fences around reserves in WA. On the weekend they reached a huge milestone by reaching 100km of fenceline removed!

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BLOG 21/04/2020

Tackling Tamarisk

Tamarisk (also known as Salt Cedar) are introduced trees from Eurasia and Africa. They can thrive in dry environments and were planted for shade and wind protection around the homestead and shearing shed precinct back when Hamelin was a working sheep station. Today they're considered a weed of national significance.

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BLOG 25/10/2019

Grasswrens, glorious grasswrens

Hamelin Station Reserve is brimming with birdlife. But if you're not paying close attention, there's one species that can easily be missed – the Western Grasswren. Grasswrens are very poorly understood compared to their glamorous cousins, the fairywrens. It isn’t clear why the Western Grasswren had such a dramatic population decline. Thought to be once found throughout much of WA, this ground-dwelling species is now restricted Peron Peninsula, Hamelin Station and Carbla Station.

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BLOG 04/10/2019

Searching for a special skink

Despite our best efforts during previous years' reptile surveys, we haven't yet recorded the elusive Gidgee Skink at Hamelin Station Reserve...

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BLOG 14/08/2019

The 2019 Hamelin Science Fair

Our Hamelin Station Reserve near Shark Bay, WA is one of the most remote locations on the vast Australian continent to conduct a science gathering during this year's National Science Week.

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BLOG 01/07/2019

Swept away by Santalaceae

Ecologist Georgina Gould-Hardwick writes about her time spent submersing herself into Santalaceae science at our Eurardy and Charles Darwin Reserves.

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BLOG 17/05/2019

Exploring Hamelin's stunning coastline

Inspired by stories from the Mulgana Traditional Owners of Hamelin Station Reserve near Shark Bay, Ken and Michelle Judd decided to walk the reserve's coastline.

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BLOG 19/12/2018

Historic day for Malgana people

December 4th marked a great celebration for Malgana people with the consent determination of Native Title in the Shark Bay area including Bush Heritage's Hamelin Reserve and the surrounding World Heritage Area. The Federal Court session was held on the foreshore in Denham at the request of Malgana Traditional Owners and as a sign of respect to the achievement of native title after a long 20-year legal process.

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BLOG 23/11/2018

A eucalyptus celebration

Did you know? There are about 900 species of eucalypts on the planet, with just about all of them occurring exclusively somewhere within Australia. Excitingly for me, and for Bush Heritage Australia, I recently discovered that there are 15 species of eucalypts known to occur on Hamelin Station Reserve - one of my favourite volunteering destinations in the western rangelands near Shark Bay in Western Australia.

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BLOG 21/11/2018

Biologic Hamelin trapping

A lot of the work we do is only possible because of the contribution of volunteers. However in some cases, when there's more work to be done than time allows and specialised skills are required, we need to turn to professional consultants. This year at Hamelin our schedule meant that we didn't have any qualified staff or volunteers free to complete our small animal monitoring. This led to discussions with the Perth-based environmental consultancy, Biologic.

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BLOG 05/10/2018

Sightseeing from Hamelin

While staying at Hamelin Outback Station Stay visitors can venture out for the day and explore the beautiful World Heritage Shark Bay area. Steep Point is the most westerly point of the Australian mainland and the Station Stay is the closest place to stay if you wish to visit it for the day.

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BLOG 13/09/2018

Like a little kid in a lolly shop

Remember that amazing, exciting, blood-tingling feeling of anticipation when, as a child, you opened carefully-wrapped birthday or Christmas presents? Well that's how I felt recently, when I downloaded thousands of images from remote-sensing camera-traps recently retrieved from the field at Hamelin Station Reserve.

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BLOG 11/09/2018

Flora surveys at Hamelin

'Four seasons in one day' - every day - plus a plethora of wonderful wildflowers, kept the adrenalin running among the hardy bunch of botanists, ecologists and keen amateurs who participated in this year's flora surveys on Hamelin Station Reserve.

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BUSHTRACKS 10/09/2018

Searching for the Goldilocks solution

An insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge have placed Erica Suosaari at the forefront of research into the humble beginnings of life as we know it.

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BLOG 17/08/2018

Wildflowers & wedgebills

Nature never stops surprising us with her natural abundance of beauty and wildlife. At Hamelin Station Stay the wildflowers are out in force and while the birds are abundant, the song of our favourites - the Chiming Wedgebill – rings out above them all.

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BLOG 12/12/2017

The wonderful Wildflower Society of WA

Thanks to the Western Australian Wildflower Society's help with collecting, processing, identifying and mounting thousands of plant specimens, we now have a thorough understanding of the unique plant species assemblages of Charles Darwin Reserve and Eurardy Reserve in the Mid-west of Western Australia.

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BLOG 19/10/2017

New reptiles for Hamelin list

This Spring, Ben Parkhurst (Reserves Ecologist for the Mid-West) ran the annual small animal trapping survey at Hamelin Station Reserve. Despite late winter rains and a relatively poor rain season the survey team was still able to add new species to the Hamelin species list.

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BLOG 11/10/2017

Follow the Dream field camp

Follow the Dream: Partnership for Success is a program for high achieving secondary students, supporting them through their studies, ensuring that they have the chance to follow their dreams and have meaningful post-school destinations. I've been working closely with the program in Gerladton for the past two years, discussing how science is applicable to everyday life.

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BLOG 17/08/2017

New life for the old shearing shed

It was wonderful to attend the recent Science Fair at Hamelin Station Reserve and to see the property's old shearing shed once again come alive - with science and learning, and passion and participation. The old weatherboard and corrugated-iron shearing shed 'hung-up its shears' in 2015, when Bush Heritage purchased the 202,644 hectare property on the eastern boundary of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.

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BLOG 31/07/2017

Hamelin a hotspot for birders

Given its location adjacent to the Shark Bay World Heritage Area it's not surprising that Hamelin Station Reserve in Outback WA is fast building a reputation as a 'go-to hotspot' for bird-watchers. More than 170 species have been recorded on the Reserve thus far, with regulars such as Rainbow Bee-eaters (Merops ornatus) and Chiming Wedgebills (Psophodes occidentalis) always popular.

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BLOG 13/07/2017

New walking trail at Hamelin

I've just found, or rather 'made' another good reason to visit the Hamelin Station Reserve, located on the edge of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area - the new Homestead Walk Trail...

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BLOG 28/05/2017

An eagle's nictitating membrane

Annie and Ian Mayo are long-term valued Bush Heritage volunteers. The couple recently spent time travelling around Western Australia and volunteering at different Bush Heritage reserves. Annie sent in the following post and photo of a Wedge-tailed Eagle's evil-looking third eye-lid.

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BLOG 26/05/2017

Geological field trip to Shark Bay

We were thrilled to again host the annual Curtin University Shark Bay field trip at Hamelin. Over the past 20 years Applied Geology Students have made the trek to Shark Bay to examine geology of the southern Carnarvon Basin.

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BLOG 24/05/2017

Paddy Melon picking at Hamelin

Volunteer Richard McLellan can now add 'Paddy melon picker' to his qualifications after spending a week at Hamelin Station Reserve in Western Australia for some annual leave and a bit of volunteering.

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BUSHTRACKS 14/03/2017

Testing the waters

Bush Heritage is taking its renowned science-backed approach underwater to unlock the secrets of Hamelin Pool.

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BLOG 20/02/2017

We're going on a frog hunt!

Larissa Lauder and Tony Loechte live at Hamelin Station Reserve with their two small children Harry and Riley. Since the new year the region has experienced high rainfall and the family has been delighted by the sounds of frogs calling. Especially as a couple of the frogs have been previously unrecorded on the property.

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BLOG 22/11/2016

BRUVS in Hamelin Pool

Renowned for its natural beauty and scientific significance, the Shark Bay World Heritage Area is home to the Wooramel Bank, which is the largest seagrass bank (4,800km2) in the world. It also has one of the largest and most stable populations of Dugongs, and the largest and most diverse assemblage of modern Stromatolites in Hamelin Pool.

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BLOG 20/10/2016

Hamelin bio-blitz – trappings & drones

A sunrise start, to live and work like bio-blitzers do, means opening the shutters on our shearing shed quarters at sparrows. Anticipation builds as we convoy half our team out of Hamelin Station Stay and across the south-east of the reserve. The other half take the more arid of sites, where they’ll be looking for reptiles. 

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BLOG 18/10/2016

Hamelin bioblitz: Sticks & pooters

Sticks and pooters (or aspirators) aren't just for show, but form part of an entomologist's critter-trapping tool set. Thwacking a stick against bushes, shrubs and plants while holding an insect net underneath seems like an easy task, but it's also only half the job.

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BLOG 16/10/2016

Dots on the land: exploring art

Sandy is a visual and performance artist travelling through remote Western Australia, facilitating the 'Dot on the Land' project. During this time she's running workshops that explore the textures, tones and forms of the cultural and environmental landscape. Hamelin Reserve was her first stop.

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BUSHTRACKS 16/06/2016

Hamelin Pool: the key to our past

Over billions of years, a complex interaction between climate and environment at Hamelin Pool has created the miracle of ‘living fossils’ called stromatolites. These extraordinary natural monuments contain microbes similar to those found in 3,500-million-year-old fossils – the earliest record of life on Earth.

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BUSHTRACKS 16/06/2016

Life on the edge

For the vulnerable endemic species found on Hamelin, the old saying “it’s a small world” couldn’t be more apt. With suitable habitat a precious rarity, careful land management could offer a better future for these threatened creatures.

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BUSHTRACKS 16/06/2016

Passing muster

For more than 130 years Hamelin Station Reserve has been a pastoral station, home to sheep and goats. Its new future as a conservation property meant removing stock. A lot of it. Brian Wake and Jock Isdale were the men for the job.

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BUSHTRACKS 16/06/2016

Our priorities & our challenges

On a property as big as our Hamelin Reserve, challenges abound. But with your help, our team of land managers and ecologists will work together with our neighbours, partners and volunteers to revitalise the landscape.

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BUSHTRACKS 16/06/2016

A research hub of the future?

Hamelin Station Reserve (WA) is already a hive of research activity. Its location and unique ecological values have put it on the scientific map. But this is just the beginning.

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BLOG 18/05/2016

A weed herbarium for Hamelin

Valued volunteer Charlie Nicholson has provided important help in the West for over 10 years. Charlie's just completed his second stint at Hamelin Station Reserve helping us prepare a weeding manual for volunteers. We're extremely lucky to be able to tap into Charlie's knowledge of the region and his great knowledge of plants and weeds of the Rangelands.

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BLOG 28/04/2016

Curtin University at Hamelin Station

Hamelin Pool is indeed one of the most phenomenal places on the planet. I recently had the pleasure of being able to share some of my favourite localities with students from Curtin University. For me it was an incredible experience to be able to share my knowledge of Hamelin Pool with a group of keen, smart students who were keen to learn and thoroughly enjoyed the wonder of the region.

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BLOG 15/04/2016

Stromatolite research in Hamelin Pool

Hamelin Pool is home to the most extensive and diverse actively accreting Stromatolite development in the world – a better understanding of the modern Stromatolites in Hamelin Pool may help offer understanding to life on early Earth.

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BLOG 09/10/2015

Initial bird surveys at Hamelin

Recently Hamelin Station had an influx of keen birdwatchers from the Geraldton and Perth Birdlife groups who came to help out with our initial surveys. Our dedicated group set out at 5:30 every morning to cover a range of habitats all over Hamelin. Braving the hot weather we recorded over 100 species in three days which is pretty impressive!

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