As highlighted previously, in 2018 FOKE initiated a project to add extra protections to, and increase awareness of, Ku-ring-gai’s natural heritage focusing originally on Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
This has since developed into a much broader area as we have advanced the proposal of a GeoRegion with Ku-ring-gai Chase as its centre, but extending from Berowra Valley, from the Hawkesbury River to northern Lane Cove National Park, east to the coast from Barrenjoey to Dee Why.
This large area, of approximately 44,000 ha, across northern Sydney showcases exceptional characteristics, with over 50 national and internationally significant geological environments of the Triassic sandstone landscapes of the Sydney Basin, unique and rare flora and fauna, and a density of Aboriginal sites that reflects the length of habitation in this area, with 1,424 sites currently recorded. A short video can be seen here Ku-ring-gai GeoRegion video
The proposal has been endorsed in principle by the Geological Survey of NSW and is supported by three local Councils (Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, and Northern Beaches) and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and local MPs. ‘ Geotrails’ identifying a network of key sites are being developed with appropriate interpretation, with the first of these expected to open in early 2023.
The Ku-ring-gai GeoRegion is also referenced and recognised in the Australian Government’s THRIVE 2030 Visitor Economy Strategy as having the potential to be one of three GeoRegions to be nominated as an Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark for Australia.
On 17th November, the GeoRegion Steering Committee presented at the Linnean Society Sydney Symposium, highlighting the outstanding Natural and Cultural History of the Ku-ring-gai GeoRegion. A major co-authored technical study underpinned the presentations and is published in the current Linnean Society Proceedings journal.
The project Steering Committee believes that the contents of this study will form a solid basis for any proposed nomination submitted to UNESCO assessors. Here is the link to the GeoRegion Study.
It remains FOKE’s focus to ensure that our natural and cultural heritage is valued by the next generation as well as our growing number of residents. Only when areas are valued will communities fight for their conservation and protection.