During my wanderings around Sydney a grand name has appeared to me time and again. The name is 'Cumberland'.
We have all heard of the Cumberland State Forest in Pennant Hills and noticed the Cumberland Streets in the Rocks, Epping and Cabramatta. But there is also the Cumberland Highway, the Cumberland Newspaper and the Cumberland Hospital in Westmead. Moreover, the Cumberland High School in Carlingford and the Cumberland Campus at the University of Sydney all carry this name - I have been finding Cumberland everywhere.
It's all around us. In fact, Cumberland County contains the whole of Sydney. Wikipedia tells of the region being named by Govenor Phillip in honour of the Duke of Cumberland during a birthday gathering for the Duke's father, King George III, in 1788.
And from this the many places and institutions have taken their name, including the little known - but far reaching - Cumberland Plain.
Protected stands of Cumberland Plain ecological communities still remain in Western Sydney for us to enjoy
The NSW Department of Environment and Heritage reveals on their website the extent of the Cumberland Plain. It covers an absolutely massive area that reaches from the Hawkesbury, through Ryde and down past Bankstown continuing even as far as Camden in the South West. The Plain is significant because it was an immense area of thriving ecological communities before the greater part of it was cleared to allow for development in the Sydney area.
Now only a tiny proportion of its unique woodland and forest habitats remain. You can visit some of the remnants in Western Sydney at Scheyville National Park - home to almost 1000 hectares of reserved Cumberland Plain Woodland.
With the goal of preserving the remaining Cumberland Plain environment - particularly in Western Sydney - there is an awesome free forum being held in Blacktown's Bowman Hall to educate the public on this great natural resource. It is to be held on the 29th of June at 11am.
An informative free forum with refreshments provided
And it's no surprise that they are funding this great event. Although the original ecosystems within the Cumberland Plain are much diminished, our charge now is to not let the remaining parts disappear.
They provide home to a number of threatened species including the Cumberland Plain Large Land Snail and vulnerable species like the Downy Wattle.
Other flora and fauna exist there also and play an important role in the wider ecological balance of Sydney. And the occasion promises to reveal just how important these species are, with expert guest speakers to be part of the presentations.
The forum is a great educational event. A light lunch, and morning and afternoon tea will be provided, but do book so that catering arrangements can be made. Email email@example.com or call 9621 2105.
Hats off to the Blacktown and District Environment Group Inc. for supporting this informative forum and highlighting the importance of this dwindling natural resource and its inhabitants.