Call for Heritage Council to protect the iconic Tarwyn Park property at its meeting today in Sydney

Published: October 05, 2016

The NSW Heritage Council is meeting in Sydney today to make a decision on an urgent Interim Heritage Order application to protect Tarwyn Park in the Bylong Valley.

Lock the Gate Alliance recently submitted a nomination of the property for NSW’s State Heritage Register.

“The outstanding heritage values of this place clearly emerged from the nomination process,” said Lock the Gate spokesperson Nic Clyde.

“Tarywn Park is uniquely valuable in NSW as the birthplace of Natural Sequence Farming and for the property’s long and very colourful association with champion race horse breeding.”

In 2015, the ABC's Australian Story described Tarwyn Park as “the famous Hunter region property where horse breeder Peter Andrews created a land care revolution that has impressed everyone from retailer Gerry Harvey to garden guru Don Burke”.

Lock the Gate spokesperson Nic Clyde said, “We are calling on the Heritage Council today to recommend listing of this property on the State Heritage Register and to provide immediate protection by granting the internationally renowned property an Interim Heritage Protection order.

“Tarwyn Park is the cradle of Natural Sequence Farming, a unique land restoration system developed by Peter Andrews and his son Stuart. KEPCO's proposed Bylong Coal Project must not be allowed to ruin this laboratory of sustainable agriculture with an enormous open-cut and underground coal mine,” Mr Clyde said.

The Natural Sequence farming method - now in operation at Mulloon near Braidwood - was recently recognised by a United Nations initiative, established to tackle the challenges of making ambitious changes to our global agriculture and food systems. 

In August 2013, the National Trust recognised the “scientific significance … of Peter Andrews’ development of his Natural Sequence Farming at Tarwyn Park based on the principle of reintroducing natural landscape patterns and processes as they would have existed in Australia prior to European settlement”.

Tarwyn Park has also long been associated with the Hunter’s thoroughbred horse breeding being the home of champion racehorses Heroic and Rain Lover.

Watch Australian Story’s Battle for Tarwyn Park (May 2015)
Part 1: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2015/s4226139.htm
Part 2: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2015/s4230652.htm



SUMMARY OF STATE HERITAGE REGISTER NOMINATION – KEY POINTS

1.     Thoroughbred horse breeding: In the first half of last century, Tarwyn Park was already one of the great studs in Australia under the ownership of Herbert Thompson. 
  • Heroic was leading Australian sire in the 1930’s. He sired 29 stakes winners including 1933 Melbourne Cup winner, Hall Mark. 
  • Rain Lover was Australian Racehorse of the year in 1969, dual Melbourne Cup winner in 1968 and 1969. He was inducted in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2014.
  • Peter Andrews purchased Tarwyn Park in 1973. Mr Andrews bred and raised ‘Black Shoes’, the leading 2-year-old filly of her year. 
2.     Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association judges NSF significant for horse breeding: The Hunter Valley is Australia’s largest producer, supplier and exporter of premium thoroughbreds. It is one of only three international centres of thoroughbred breeding excellence in the world. The Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association notes that “Tarwyn Park, through the commitment, determination and practices of its previous owner Peter Andrews, is the international test case for Natural Sequence Farming which promotes sustainable agricultural systems to improve fertility, hydrology, vegetation, natural landscape, and property stock levels – including the growth and performance of horses.”

3.     Natural sequence farming (NSF) invented: The Technical achievements of the practices of Peter Andrews and his son Stuart are of great significance and their work and contribution to farming practices has been recognised through the granting of an OAM to Peter.

4.     Most popular ever ABC Australian Story: Peter Andrews and the story of Tarwyn Park - as told by ABC TV's Australian Story - has consistently polled as the most popular ever with viewers.

5.     United Nations recognition of NSF: On 2 February 2016, the UN found inspiration near Braidwood in NSW, on a property developed using Mr Andrews’ methods. The Mulloon Community Landscape Rehydration Project (MCLRP) was selected as one of only five global model projects by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) - a UN initiative to tackle the challenges of making ambitious changes to our global agriculture and food systems. [1]

6.     The CSIRO found “substantial agronomic and environmental improvements” from NSF: A CSIRO panel in 2002 found that "NFS is a successful and sustainable farming system for the current enterprise at Tarwyn Park, where it has led to substantial agronomic and environmental improvements on the property.”

7.     National Trust recognition: In August 2013, the National Trust listed the 'Bylong Landscape Conservation Area' recognising the significance of its "prime agricultural land with a rural landscape of exceptional scenic value". At the time of listing on its register, the National Trust stated: 

"The Landscape Conservation Area has scientific significance as the site of Peter Andrews development of his Natural Sequence Farming at Tarwyn Park based on the principle of reintroducing natural landscape patterns and processes as they would have existed in Australia prior to European settlement."

[1] http://themullooninstitute.org/blog/

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