Quarry garden becomes sanctuary

Article image - Quarry garden becomes sanctuary Endangered blue gum forest will find sanctuary in Hornsby’s quarry park.

Hornsby Shire Council, New South Wales, has embarked on the transformation of the former Hornsby Quarry and its surrounds into one of Sydney’s great parks. 

The expansive quarry void surrounded by dramatic stone walls is of historical significance to the local area, and the site of ecologically endangered bushland. It will ultimately offer a wide range of recreation opportunities in a magnificent tall forest landscape setting.

A large proportion of forest is listed under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act, 2016, as Critically Endangered Blue Gum (Diatreme) High Forest. The forest thrived in the region due to the naturally occurring rich volcanic soils.

The ongoing habitat and fauna management needs of the sites’ biodiversity will be guided by the Vegetation Management Plan (VMP). 

Council intends to offset residual impacts by securing funding to regenerate, revegetate and improve the biodiversity outcomes across the entire site.

Overall sustainability has been a focus for the site’s development and will include renewable energy sources, integrated water management and adaptive reuse, such as the manufacture of soils from materials on-site for use in revegetation and landscaping. 

Park facilities and features being considered include picnic spaces, play areas, accessible pathways, bush walking and mountain bike tracks,
a lake with natural filtration, viewing areas, elevated tree-top walkways, amphitheatres, a lift to assist access to the quarry void and other adventure activities such as high ropes, climbing and zip lines. 

The community consultation period for the park’s master plan recently ended.  Multiple engagement channels were employed and the response from residents and stakeholder groups was extraordinary with an estimated 3000 people connecting with Council during this time.

The proposed Stage One opening date is late 2023. A fly-through of the vision for the site can be found at hornsbypark.com.au