positive human interaction with the river's ecology
SPONSORS &
PARTNERS

City of Marion

AMLRNRM

Beaumont Tiles

Mitre10
Hallett Cove

Friends of Parks Inc.

ARTSTREAM
Graphic Design

LEAP Legal

Tripos IT

Ink on Paper

The Telstra Foundation

Cove Print

THE RIVER

Background

Some facts about the Field River

The catchment area includes the Happy Valley Reservoir, Main South Road, and the Southern Expressway and covers a total area of 55.3sq kms. Suburbs bordering the river include Hallett Cove, Sheidow Park, Trott Park, Reynella, Happy Valley and Woodcroft.

The river was named after Lieutenant WG Field who served under Colonel Light on his journey to South Australia in 1836 aboard the Brig "Rapid" and discovered the river in 1837 while surveying the area.

After initially being named the Field River, the name was changed to Hallett Creek due to the Onkaparinga River also being known as Fields River. It was subsequently renamed Field River during the 20th century however in 1990 consideration was given to changing the name to Serpentine Creek.

In the 1840s the location around the Field River was used by smugglers to land contraband goods for market in Adelaide. In 1850 a State Government Commission examining locations for secure anchorage suggested that the mouth of the Field River was a suitable site for a harbour.

The discovery of copper in the1840s at the Worthing mine (on the south eastern side of the Lonsdale Road) promoted interest in using the Field River as a means of transporting copper ore from the mine to the sea however by 1856 attempts at mining ceased due to the lack of further investment money.

The importance of the coastline to the Kaurna people is clearly demonstrated, with large quantities of cultural material previously collected from areas adjacent to the outflow of the Field River.

In 1992 the fossil remains of the world's largest marsupial, the DIPROTODON, were discovered on the bank of the Field River by Trevor Westlake (a committee member of the Friends of the Lower Field River). Weighing about two tonnes and living about 10,000 to 150,000 years ago, these rhino-sized plant eaters were unique to Australia and New Guinea. The fossil, which is at least 60,000 years old, is now in the care of the South Australian Museum.

A number of primary schools including Braeview, Reynella East and Hallett Cove South have projects underway which involve revegetation and other environmental studies of the Field River.

The stream flow of the Field River is highly seasonal and variable, with an average annual runoff of 5,100 ML. Unfortunately in the past 5 years the Field River has gained national attention due to 3 sewage spillages in surrounding suburbs which found their way into the river and required access to the river area to be off limits for several days.

The Field River flows through or is bordered by the City of Marion and Onkaparinga Councils. The lower reaches of the Field River ran through private property owned by the Sheidow family until 1993 when the land was sold for housing development and became the Headland Estate. The stretch of Field River on the south eastern side of the Lonsdale Road at Hallett Cove is presently in private hands however successful negotiations by the City of Marion Council see the transfer some parts of the land into public ownership then through its Marion South Plan create a publicly accessible and vegetated walking area in the Field River Valley.

Looking upstream from the beach

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