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Case studies


Case studies in three NSW national parks were conducted to develop, apply and test a preferred cultural landscape approach to heritage management in the NSW park system. The case study areas were:

  • Yuraygir National Park - a coastal area, with a history of recreation
  • Washpool National Park - a mountain area, with a history of forestry
  • Culgoa National Park - a semi-arid area, with a history of pastoralism.

These case study areas were chosen because:

  • The case study parks demonstrate a variety of environments (coastal, mountain and semi-arid inland areas) and historical activities (recreation, forestry and pastoralism). These environments and historical activities are common to many NSW parks so an approach developed for these parks will also be suitable for others.
  • Yuraygir, Culgoa and Washpool national parks are not as well known as, for example, Kosciusko, Royal or Sydney Harbour national parks but are equally valuable. A cultural landscape approach can apply to all parks, no matter how 'ordinary' or 'exceptional' they are judged to be.

For each of the case study parks, research was undertaken to document the whole-of-landscape scale of different historical activities – recreation in Yuraygir, forestry in Washpool, and pastoralism in Culgoa. The research involved developing thematic histories for each landscape and documenting the physical evidence of these histories. Physical evidence includes structures (e.g., buildings, fences, stock yards), movable heritage (e.g., machinery, household goods), modified landscapes (e.g., log dumps, ground tanks or dams, cultural plantings) and vegetation transformation (e.g., in grazed or logged forests). Oral testimony was collected in order to link individual people’s stories, knowledge and beliefs with the physical evidence.

The research was undertaken with park staff, many of whom have long personal and family histories of connection to places and landscapes within the park system. The development of a cultural landscape approach was also undertaken with park staff, as the approach must be able to adequately integrate cultural heritage knowledge and management with the daily work of park staff.

For information on the case study areas, please visit the relevant web pages.

Index to Cultural landscapes and national parks

Page last updated: 26 February 2011