The Paddocks Reserve
The Paddocks is a large expanse of land consisting of wide open sporting fields, a bird and wildlife conservation wetlands and a fully enclosed, dog exercise yard.
The sporting fields consist of netball courts, football oval and an uninterrupted lawn expanse with a number of soccer pitches, cricket pitches and nets. A junior play park can be found here as can a half-pipe for skaters.
Easy to follow trails are well bridged where they meet the creeks that connect the large lake and pond. Picnic settings are easy to find here and each is situated in a nice shady position accompanied by an open grass expanse for kick/play activities.
Those people using wheelchairs are assisted with access by paths, crossings and parking.
Dogs are welcome off the leash to run and explore in a fully enclosed dog park.
The Paddocks Playground
The Paddocks features a large playground that includes a splashtastic waterplay area, interactive nature playspace and accessible play equipment. Access the playground via the carpark on Maxwell Road.
- The Paddocks wetlands cover an area of six hectares.
- Stormwater for the wetland is carried from a 60 hectare residential area through a fully piped drainage system. At the Paddocks, water meanders along a short natural channel before spilling out across a wide grassed area and flowing into an open pond. The overflow from the pond eventually drains into the Barker Inlet.
- The landscape of the Paddocks wetlands is now well established, with a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Some of the plants and animals that make themselves at home in the wetlands include flowering trees and shrubs, which have attracted nectar and insect feeding birds, water birds (with some species breeding amongst the reeds and sedges), native fish, frogs, yabbies and aquatic invertebrates.
- Most of the wetland areas of the Paddocks are shallow (less than one metre) and usually dry out in summer (summer rains can refill the wetlands for a short time). The wetlands plants are adapted to this wet/dry cycle. Some plant species germinate and grow as the water recedes, covering the floor of the wetland. Dry period plants become food for aquatic life when the wetlands flood again.
- The Paddocks is self-sufficient in its irrigation requirements.
History of The Paddocks Reserve
A picturesque community facility featuring a scenic lake, trails and a popular dog park, the Paddocks has come a long way from its original roots as derelict farmland, adversely affected by stormwater from the Para Hills residential area.
In the early 1970's residential development was proposed for the area. The local community objected, and as a result, the land was reserved for open space and recreational purposes.
Construction of the wetland commenced in 1975 with an extensive tree planting program undertaken two years later. While this was substantially completed within a few years, additional plantings continue to be carried out.
Facilities for active recreation and community use have been progressively established, including change rooms and facilities for sporting clubs, netball courts, a community house, toilets, playground, bird hide and a lawn bowls complex.
The wetlands have been extended several times by constructing banks and weirs, and now cover an area of six hectares. Innovatively designed, natural creeks, mounds, grassy swales and flood ways, ponds, wetlands and flood storage are utilised at the Paddocks in a system to contain stormwater and regulate discharge downstream, at the same time providing an attractive landscape.
In 1994, with support and funding assistance from the Department of Primary Industries and Resources of South Australia (PIRSA) an aquifer storage and recovery well was constructed on the site. Stormwater, after being cleared through the wetland during winter flows, is pumped into the aquifer and recovered during summer for irrigation of the playing fields and landscaped areas.
Since completion of the well head works, pumps and control systems in 1996, the Paddocks has been self-sufficient in its irrigation water requirements.