New life brought to heritage buildings

Volunteers and Natural Resources Northern and Yorke staff spent six days on restoration works. PHOTO: NRNY
Volunteers and Natural Resources Northern and Yorke staff spent six days on restoration works. PHOTO: NRNY

Volunteers from the Friends of Burra Parks and staff from Natural Resources Northern and Yorke recently took part in the annual working bee at Bimbowrie Conservation Park, in the Olary Ranges within the north-eastern pastoral district.

Landscape ranger Darrin Bennett said that since the beginning of the project, the two groups have completed significant restoration work on historic buildings dotted across Bimbowrie Conservation Park, including the old coach house, horse stables, Cobb & Co. post office, Mawson’s Hut and Antro Woolshed.

“The recent working bee built on previous achievements by the group, this year concentrating on the Antro shearer’s quarters and woolshed,” Mr Bennett said.

“The group of 19 people split into three teams, with one working in the original shearer’s kitchen, chipping away the old concrete-based mortar, re-stabilising the original stone work and then repointing with a lime-based mortar.

“The second concentrated their efforts on restoring the original furniture, sanding and restoring benchtops, tables and window frames, while the third worked in the woolshed, diligently varnishing the window frames that were restored at the working bee in 2017.”

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Ranger in Charge at Bimbowrie Conservation Park Peter Watkins said the work undertaken by the Friends of Burra Parks, both within the Northern and Yorke region and across the state, is impressive.

“The group is comprised of people with a wide range of skills and backgrounds, who are all willing and able to share their expertise and experience at these working bees,” Mr Watkins said.

“A number of the Friends of Burra Parks members have been trained in traditional artisan stone masonry techniques which helps immensely with these ongoing restoration programs.”

Mr Bennett said the remarkable restoration work completed over the years will ensure that the historic buildings will last for many generations to come.

“The wonderful relationships between Friends of Burra Parks members and Natural Resources Northern and Yorke staff further strengthen at these annual working bees,” Mr Bennett said.

“The shared sense of achievement that we all feel at the end of an industrious six days helps to solidify our relationships, and inspires us to return each year to continue to breathe new life into these beautiful heritage buildings.”

For information about the Friends of Burra Parks group and volunteer opportunities in the Northern and Yorke region, contact the Natural Resources Centre at Clare on 8841 3400.