Culture and heritage


Cultural landscapes: A practical guide for park management

This guide was produced to assist NSW park managers in identifying, assessing, managing and interpreting cultural values across broad landscapes.

Our understanding of heritage has expanded - from single monuments and sites to broad landscapes. This cultural landscapes approach acknowledges all parts of the landscape are alive with cultural meaning, containing the imprint of human use.

It is underpinned by two ideas. First, that history has taken place across the landscape. Second, that the form of the present landscape is the product of long-term and complex relationships between people and the environment.

Using the cultural landscape methodology will help OEH staff better manage the history and heritage of the landscapes under their care. It moves the focus away from objects and sites and towards managing the material record and people's cultural associations within a historical and landscape context.


Nocoleche woolshed and shearers quarters, Nocoleche Nature Reserve.
Nocoleche woolshed and shearers quarters, Nocoleche Nature Reserve.
Photo: Tim Peken collection.


Steps in applying a cultural landscape approach
Steps in applying a cultural landscape approach
Click to enlarge.

Because the NSW park system comprises broad landscapes (rather than individual and isolated sites), it provides a unique context for 'landscaping heritage'. The landscape scale of cultural heritage is similar to 'whole-of-landscape' in ecosystem conservation; just as there is connectivity between all parts of ecosystems (e.g., plants, animals, soils and water) there is connectivity between cultural objects and places through past human behaviour patterns (e.g., the homesteads, shearing sheds, camps, stockyards, paddocks, mustering routes and ground tanks in a pastoral landscape).

While the guide has been written specifically for managing the park system in NSW, it can be applied to managing landscapes in other regions.

Cultural Landscapes: A practical guide for park management was awarded the 2011 National Trust Heritage Award in the field of Conservation Landscape Heritage.

The format and structure of this publication may have been adapted for web delivery.

Page last updated: 15 June 2011