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Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:10

Ten Years of Blue Gum High Forest Protection

Sydney's Blue Gum High Forests built colonial Sydney. By the 1850s most had gone. However a few patches survived. The largest one was in St Ives. It was so rare, that Richard Dalrymple-Hay, NSW’s first Commissioner of Forests, acquired it as a demonstration forest. This became known as the Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve.

In 1934 Annie Wyatt – later to become the founder of the National Trust – led a community campaign to save this endangered forest.

Then again in 2007, the community led another campaign to acquire two privately owned blocks of land into public ownership and so protect the forest. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of this campaign, Friends of Ku-ring-gai Environment (FOKE) and STEP have organised some walks which highlight the beauty of Blue Gum High Forest and Janine Kitson is presenting a talk entitled The Battle of the Blue Gums.

FOKE Walk on Sunday 7 May – Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve

Time: 9:45 for a 10 am start (finish noon)
Meet: entrance to Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve (cnr Rosedale Road and Vista Street, St Ives)
Book: Janine Kitson (0428 860 623, 9498 2402, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Nancy Pallin, one of the leaders of the campaign, will lead a walk demonstrating the unique features of this outstanding forest.

FOKE Walk on Sunday 14 May – Sheldon Forest from Turramurra to Pymble

Time: 9:45 for a 10 am start (finish noon)
Meet: ticket office, Turramurra Station
Bring: hat, water, snack and good walking shoes (involves walking up some steep hills)
Book: Janine Kitson (0428 860 623, 9498 2402, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Sheldon Forest is one of Sydney’s rarest urban forests. It is within walking distance of not one, but two, railway stations – Turramurra and Pymble. The North Shore railway line forms a wildlife corridor that connects Sheldon Forest to other remnant forests in reserves and gardens. This ecologically focused heritage walk explores the unique relationship between the natural and built heritage of Ku-ring-gai and Sydney's forest history. It reveals layers of history – indigenous, colonial, federation, interwar, as well as revealing Australia’s rich biodiverse natural history. Discover why the resilience and protection of this magnificent Blue Gum High Forest is so important during a time of climate disruption and biodiversity extinction.

NPA Talk on Saturday 10 June – The Battle of the Blue Gums

Time: 10 to noon
Tutor: Janine Kitson

During the 1930s, two forests were under threat – the Blue Gum Forest in the Blue Mountains and the Blue Gum High Forest in suburban Sydney. Discover how pioneer conservationists like Myles Dunphy and Annie Wyatt successfully rallied to protect these forests. How did these forest battles contribute to the modern Australian conservation movement? How are these forests faring today – at a time of burgeoning population increase, habitat loss and climate change?

STEP Walk on Sunday 18 June – Blue Gum Walk in Hornsby Valley

Click here for more information

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