Sparrow and Finch Gardening Gardens of Stone has finally been protected

Gardens of Stone has finally been protected

The government has designated the regionfor ecotourism. This 250-million-year-old geological landscape, with its epic gorges and the hanging swamps on the Newnes Plateau that are unique in the world, is a haven for adventurers.

The Gardens of Stone are, to quote a devoted campaigner, Julie Favell, a” storybook of Nature.” It is not a simple story. This is the story of a community of generational miners who are on the cusp of social change, and whose hard-won fight for environmental recognition has been often thankless.

Read more: 4 unexpected places where adults can learn science

Sandstone towers and rare wildlife

You’ll most likely see sandstone formations with iron bands and soaring pagodas on Gardens of Stone postcards. These weathered structures are a mix between Angkor Wat’s temples and a beehive-like complex.

The Lost City is located on the Newnes Plateau in Lithgow.

There are smaller and less dramatic icons for close observers. There are many rare wildflowers, such as the pagoda flower, which only grows on rocky crags. The park is also home to over 40 endangered species including the regent Honeyeater, and the Spotted-tail Qull.

The Gardens of Stone’s endangered peat swamps in the upland are a humble jewel. These swamps, which look like a clearing in a meadow, are actually sponge-like waterscapes. They serve as a nursery and a kitchen for hundreds of species. The endangered Blue Mountains Water-skink and Giant Dragonfly are among the residents.

The upland swamps are unique to the world and play an important role in regional climate and water resilience. They store carbon, and also mediate floods and droughts.

The pagoda daisy is unique to Australia. Julie Favell is the Author.

The Battle of the Rocky Mountains

The Gardens of Stone’s environmental features are so closely linked to local, state and federal conservation efforts that telling the story of either is telling the story of both.

The local environment groups worked tirelessly to show the geological heritage in the pagodas despite open-cut mining. They documented the effects of mining on waterways and swamps and tried to make companies accountable.

Gooches Crater Swamp, surrounded by cliffs. Julie Favell provided

The long-running campaign was also the subject of court battles before the NSW courts. In the last 20 years, there have been countless petitions and projects for environmental testing and monitoring.

There are two mines currently operating in the conservation area. An extension of a site is proposed. Mining has had a significant impact on the environment in recent decades. Sandstone cracked, swamps dried out and died, and water flow was disrupted.

Chris Jonkers, Lithgow Environment Group, in a swamp that was damaged by mining. Julie Favell is the Author

The Gardens of Stone has been a long-term battle against indifference, opposition, and indifference.

Locally, the environmental impact of coal mining was dismissed as being insignificant despite the employment it generates. Campaigners were the ones who suffered the brunt of mistrust and hostility from pro-coal locals toward their perceived interference.

State-level environmental protections that had been hard-won were thrown out in favor of mining approvals. In 2017, the NSW Government weakened laws in order to allow mining extensions that would impact Sydney’s drinking water quality. likely damages within legally protected swamps of the Gardens of Stone were not addressed.

The extended Gardens of Stone, due to mining development, is not officially designated as a National Park. Instead, it is a ” Conservation Area“. Any new developments, such as mine extensions, must adhere to processes that meet conservation standards.

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