Saturday, 13 April 2013

A Saturday Afternoon Bushwalk

6th of April 2013: A Saturday afternoon bush walk in Lane Cove National Park

Porters Bridge - Built by unskilled labour in the depression years

Walking along the bush tracks and roads, there is a significant amount of remnant heritage stone work in the walls, road edging, bridges and steps. It got me thinking about how materials and workmanship has changed from the past to today.

The oval road island now covered in bush but once was a BBQ area. Well made sandstone wall
Most of the heritage elements are built from sandstone and have been there for more than 80 years. I think quarried nearby. The stone is squared and in some cases such as the walls and bridges its very neat and ashlar coursed and finished. The stone along the trails is squared and used where stairs are required. Similar stone was used to edge the road, which till recently was mostly visible until it was covered by re-asphalting works. In most case these stone elements are still functioning as the design intended in the day. I enjoy viewing the history that the sandstone elements provide me on the walk. I wonder who used these, how long they have been here and what the area in the past would have looked like.

Sandstone Road Edging
These days for at least the last 20 years, path elements such as signs and stairs are built from treated pine. They have a much shorter life span and are generally more susceptible to vandalism. The timber steps showing signs of decay probably will not see another 5 years. I wonder whether in 50 years we are going to see anything from today, replaced by new. The sandstone in its enduring ways will still be here, evidence of past enduring design.

bush track
Then again maybe its just today's thinking in minimising man's (humankind's) intrusion into the bush?

An Angophora growing in a between two large bush rocks 
flush stone edging to road
Stone edging covered by asphalt

Former stone entry gates to park

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