Warriewood sits on the northern outskirts of Sydney, halfway between the CBD and Barrenjoey Lighthouse, and, east to west, halfway between the beach and ridge that forms part of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Natural water courses running down from the ridge line formed sprawling wetlands and created a wildlife habitat. This was juxtaposed with farms; cows, horses, and sheep filled paddocks just several hundred metres from the coast. Many early settlers were Greek, Italian and Yugoslav immigrants so glass houses and market gardens helped make up the semi-rural landscape. In the last decade the urban sprawl has caught up and looks to be overtaking the topography. Horses and paddocks, the last of the rural stock to survive the population growth, have been whittled down to perhaps just a half dozen or so, along with their older-generation-European owners. Humble, quirky abodes are being replaced with rows upon rows of apartment blocks. Looking more like prisons than homes, they now scar the landscape. Government rushes to keep up the infrastructure in the way of widening roads, adding roundabouts and kerb and guttering. The wildlife, lacking natural habitat and food sources, come into backyards creating gardening havoc, or end up as road-kill.
It’s called progress.
Pictures and words by Sue Hinchey.