Heritage is all of those items and places that are valued by the community and is conserved and preserved for future generations. People commonly equate heritage with historic buildings but the concept is much wider and includes items and places with natural heritage significance and Aboriginal heritage significance. Although these categories are covered by different legislation in reality they often overlap.
Heritage values can be ranked at different scales from local to world significance. Individual items or places may be valued according to their rarity or because they are a particularly good example of their kind. Judging these qualities is inevitably subjective but professional guidelines are provided in the Australian Natural Heritage Charter and The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for places of cultural significance.
Heritage is valued by the community because it provides links to the past and contributes to our sense of place. Heritage provides reference points in history, it illustrates natural processes, and it presents opportunities for education and research.
We all value places for different reasons and heritage is expressed in our collective sense of value. Heritage enriches our lives and the loss of any item makes us all poorer.
Geology and landscape: The ridge top landscapes on the Ashfield Shale with soils that were suitable for market gardens and orchards. The steeper parts of this landscape south of Blaxland Road are identified as part of the West Pennant Hills soil landscape and still carries patches of original bluegum and blackbutt forest.
Ecology and biodiversity: Estuarine and sandstone slope communities in the Field of Mars Wildlife Refuge and turpentine/ironbark forest in Wallumatta Nature Reserve.
Rock engravings in Glades Bay, the location of the graves of Bennelong and Nanbaree at Kissing Point, and a number of rock shelters and shell middens.
Historic buildings including:
Numerous other items and places are identified in the Ryde Heritage Listing (1998) and listed in the Ryde Local Environmental Plan 2014.
Buried objects and moveable artefacts of cultural value that may be in private ownership or museum collections are protected under several pieces of legislation. Development applications may require heritage clearance before site excavation and permits are required for any archaeological investigation. Accidental discoveries of buried items need to be reported to the Heritage Branch, NSW Office of Environment & Heritage.
History of Ryde