Ashfield Flats the largest remaining river flat in the Perth Metropolitan area, is listed as Bush Forever site No. 214 and named in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. The area falls under the management of three bodies — the majority is vested with the WA Planning Commission (WAPC), the two drains are managed by the Water Corporation and the remainder is vested with the Town of Bassendean.
Pre European colonisation the site was used historically by the Nyungar people who would have likely used the marshy river flats and camped on higher ground. Post European colonisation the area has been used for farming orchards, horse agistment and a tip site. Due to heavy usage, regular fires and vandalism, little remnant vegetation remains at the site. Whilst farming activities have long ceased, the area remains largely grassed. The Flats are popular with walkers and dog owners.
The site sits within a floodplain (with flooding occurring at 10% Annual Exceedance Probability) and along two bends of the Swan River. As such, the area is subject to natural erosion process, but these have been exacerbated by the lack of remnant vegetation and anthropogenic use of the flats and the river.
Efforts of local community groups and land managers have aimed at reducing weeds and increasing native species cover.
Information above was kindly provided by the Town of Bassendean.
Ashfield Flats’ variety of habitats make for a very interesting birding experience. Just as at nearby Baigup Wetlands, in the order of a hundred species have been recorded here, encompassing riverine birds, waterfowl, and a good variety of ‘bush’ birds. The photographs in the Gallery below were taken at the Flats.
Ashfield Flats Birds Gallery