Restoration of the Camperdown Botanic Gardens and Arboretum was identified as the No. 4 priority project in 2011 ‘Imagining Camperdown’. Council has engaged Dr Jen Dearnaley, Director of Balyang Consulting to review the opportunities for opening up part of the Arboretum to the public.
Where is the Arboretum?
The Camperdown Arboretum is adjacent to the Botanic Gardens, situated at the top of Park Road. The north east corner is the scope for Stage 1 as seen in the concept plans below.
What is an Arboretum?
An Arboretum is typically a dedicated place for tree collections (from around the world) grown for conservation, scientific research, educational or ornamental purposes.
How does the Camperdown Arboretum compare?
The Camperdown Arboretum boasts a collection of over 60 significant trees that date from the early days of the park’s establishment the layout was designed by William Guilfoyle. Some specimens rival those found in arboretums around the world. The Arboretum (named in 1980s) is viewed by some as an unkept ‘Remnant Parkland’. There is currently no public access, no paths or seats, and the long grass is maintained by cattle. The closest ‘dedicated’ public Arboretums to Camperdown are Coleraine and Dunkeld. Few have exotic specimens like Camperdown and most were established in the 20th Century.
The objectives of the project are to:
- Provide a concept development plan inspired by ‘opening up’ the area of arboretum to public access.
- Provide for the development of the site.
- Provide an indication to the public of the intended uses of the site.
- Provide a low-impact design solution to minimise the impact on significant / heritage trees and views.
- Provide a treatment that is visually sympathetic to the site.
- Consider park elements that provide sustainable design and construction principles, long term management and maintenance and industry best practice and standards.
- Ensure that uses of the site are compatible with the heritage values of the site.
It is proposed to open up the Arboretum to local community and as a tourist destination through a staged approach. Stage 1 will focus on the northeast corner of the Arboretum.
A static display will be available in the Courthouse from Thursday 2 December and drop in sessions with Dr Dearnaley will occur on Thursday 9 December at the following locations:
Camperdown Courthouse: 10.30 am - 12 noon
Botanic Garden bbq shelter: 1.30 - 3 pm
Arboretum Development Stage 1
The concept for opening up the Arboretum has been considered in stages with seven elements proposed for Stage 1 (North East corner Arboretum):
- Planting more trees.
- Install meandering footpaths.
- Provide seating.
- Provide picnic/BBQ area.
- Explore opportunities to provide a café.
- Create publicity to promote the Gardens & Arboretum.
- Provide access & parking:
- Pedestrian access through the Arboretum
- Car parking
- Short term / drop off and disabled parking at the Botanic Gardens
Opening the Arboretum to the public will incur initial establishment costs as well as ongoing recurrent costs for Council to maintain.