Over 95 per cent of the land now protected in parks and reserves was under grazing lease at some point during the last 200 years. Today, OEH manages the largest public collection of pastoral heritage places and landscapes in NSW. Many national parks contain different kinds of pastoral heritage, including:
Pastoral heritage is both tangible and intangible. Its tangible side includes the buildings people lived and worked in, and the archaeological remains of mustering camps and pastoral fringe encampments. It also covers heritage items such as wool scales and classing tables. Individual relics are small and often deteriorating, but are part of the bigger picture of how people have interacted with the varied natural environments of NSW.
This bigger picture is the intangible side of pastoral heritage: the attachments between people and places. It's about the stories of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people working together, and the interactions between people and their landscape. This pastoral heritage is in the landscape, and in the impact that grazing and human activity have had on the land.
An important aspect of the heritage of the pastoral industry is the 'hidden histories' of Aboriginal pastoral workers. This is the subject of a recent NPWS research project (see below for more details).
What people have said
And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand,
No better horseman ever held the reins;
For never horse could throw him while the saddle-girths would stand,
He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.
… Banjo Paterson, The Man From Snowy River
Page last updated: 14 June 2011