My past visits to Sydney have mostly been for business or restricted to being a tourist in the city centre, so staying in Hornsby: surrounded by Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (east) and Berowra Valley Regional Park (west), showed me a very different Sydney.

One thing that particularly struck me was the large number of “old growth” trees right in the suburban areas. There must be something very different about Sydney climate and/or building techniques that allows huge trees of one and fifty years or more to co-exist with multi-story unit blocks or the multi-level Westfield parking station just across the road.

A couple of blocks further on I found another pleasant surprise, the Edgeworth David Garden: an interesting balance of bush restoration and community access to a significant part of local history.

This small site combines aspects of suburban park with its well maintained walkways and bridges, an accessible and interesting experience of local history: the original garden of Edgeworth David and his wife, Caroline, provides a quiet place to sit and read, or have your eye drawn by the path to their house, Coringah.

Public park and private space working well together: the house is a private residence, and those formal components sit comfortably with an active bushcare site restoring the pretty Hornsby Creek.

Gross pollution control devices in-place to catch waste washed into stormwater drains mean that the water is clear and coir  matting controls bank erosion while the new plantings establish. It is also interesting to note the bushcare team also  use black plastic covered compost piles to recycle weeds on-site.

This tiny bushcare site, just over half a hectare, is particularly valuable because Hornsby Creek appears out of drains then only flows exposed for two hundred metres before disappearing back into the drains. A small precious piece of bush being cared for by the local community.

For information link to Hornsby Shire Bushcare or email bushcare@hornsby.nsw.gov.au

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