Wildlife Land Trust / Sanctuaries / WA / Running Gully

Catherine Wyllie and Scott Frankel are the owners of Running Gully, a property located approximately 25km southeast of Manjimup. The property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary which adjoins State Forest on 3 sides and a pine plantation on the other side. It is Catherine and Scott’s intent that the property continue to be used for conservation purposes, including the rehabilitation of wildlife

Running Gully covers approximately 44 hectares of natural bushland, with 5 hectares used for aquaculture. A lake spanning approximately 6 hectares provides a vital water source for local wildlife. Vegetation is dominated by karris (Eucalyptus diversicolor), jarrahs (E. marginata) and blue gums (E. globulus).

Wildlife species known to inhabit the sanctuary include western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae), quokkas (Setonix brachyurus), southern brown bandicoots (Isoodon obesulus), water-rats (Hydromys chrysogaster), dibblers (Parantechinus apicalis), western quolls (Dasyurus geoffroii), brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus) and bats. Running Gully is home to a wide variety of birds including tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides), common bronzewings (Phaps chalcoptera), wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax), 28 parrots (Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus), western rosellas (Platycercus icterotis), New Holland honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), grey fantails (Rhipidura albiscapa), splendid (Malurus splendens) and superb (Malurus cyaneus) fairy wrens, wattlebirds (Anthochaera spp.), silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis), cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae spp.), Baudin’s (Calyptorhynchus baudinii), Carnaby’s black (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and red-tailed black (Calyptorhynchus banksii) cockatoos as well as ducks and seasonal birds which depend on the lake as a water source.

This sanctuary is featured in Wildlife Lands 20!

Running Gully sits at the interface of two distinct ecosystems of Jarrah and Karri forest between Pemberton and Manjimup. Surrounded by State Forest and mostly forest and bushland, Running Gully is unlike many farms in the region that have cleared paddocks running livestock or crops. The forest supports a range of wildflowers as well as many grass trees, orchids and fungi. In addition, wildlife present includes possums, bandicoots, kangaroos, wallabies, quokkas, bats and a variety of reptiles plus a myriad of birdlife. It is a 65 hectare property with a private permanent lake that holds over 80,000 kL of water (14 million gallons in the old language). 

We bought the property in 2000 but in 2008 we decided to move from Perth for a ‘tree-change’ to enjoy the fantastic lifestyle that living full-time at “The Farm”, as we called it, offers. Originally it was our holiday home that we shared with our family and friends, enjoying the abundance of wildlife that can only be found in the south-west of Western  Australia. We enjoy sharing the lake with the seasonal water-birds and the Endangered black cockatoos that pop in daily for a drink, plus our favourites—our family of magpies. It is a sanctuary for orphaned or injured kangaroos: Catherine helps them adjust to life in the bush again so they can be released back into the wild, though many still come in each night to say hello. We literally enjoy the fruits of our labour, organic fruit and  vegetables and free-range fresh eggs. 

Unfortunately, in June 2012 we had a house-fire and lost our home and possessions. Our hand built A-frame timber home that had been nestled amongst the tall trees overlooking the lake for over 40 years was gone… 

Over the last few years we have come to terms with our loss and in some ways this has given us freedom that otherwise may not have come along. The healing has come from the land, birds and animals that give us much joy. More information at www.running-gully.com