Our Latest News

100 years on, Old Pelion Hut retains its charm

19/09/2017

One of Tasmania's favourite historic mountain huts, Old Pelion Hut in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, is celebrating its centenary this year.More

Future-proofing our tourism icons

18/09/2017

Environment and Parks Minister Matthew Groom has announced that $8 million will be allocated to upgrade vital infrastructure in our parks and reserves over the next two years.More

Tenders advertised for Freycinet Master Plan

28/08/2017

Freycinet is one of the absolute jewels in Tasmania's crown, with locals and visitors flocking to the area in droves to experience one of the world's most stunning areas.
More

Tom Gibson Nature Reserve

Introduction

In December 1991 the Parks and Wildlife Service purchased a 665 hectare area of land at Epping Forest with money provided by the Commonwealth and State Governments. This was later to become the Tom Gibson Nature reserve. Tom Gibson was a former owner who kept the block intact and wished it to remain so for conservation purposes. It was Tom Gibson's son who sold the block so it could become a reserve. In 2004, through the Regional Forest Agreement process, a further 355 ha were added bringing the reserve to a total of 1020 ha.

The reserve is important because the type of dry forest and woodland found in the Midlands has mostly been cleared and of the remainder, hardly any is reserved. The block has been identified by botanists as having high conservation significance because there are many rare, threatened and previously unreserved (not known in any State Reserve) plant species on the block. Some of these plants are listed below. The area is also known to be important for the Tasmanian bettong, a species which is confined to the drier forests of the east of Tasmania.

Although the Parks and Wildlife Service had identified the purchase of a portion of the remaining Epping Forest as a priority in the early 1980s, it was the lobbying of governments by many organisations and citizens which led to purchase funds being made available. The block is small compared with the estimated 21 000 hectares of the original Epping Forest. By 1997 Epping Forest had dwindled to 14% of its extent at the time of European settlement. A Nature Reserve has the same status as a National Park but is usually reserved for outstanding scientific or natural values. Development for active recreation is not the aim in managing such areas.