Ballarat Botanical Gardens heritage-listed

By Erin Williams
Updated November 2 2012 - 2:40pm, first published September 15 2010 - 1:11pm
HERITAGE: Cr Samantha Macintosh and gardens curator Peter Marquand enjoy the gardens. Picture: Adam Trafford
HERITAGE: Cr Samantha Macintosh and gardens curator Peter Marquand enjoy the gardens. Picture: Adam Trafford

THE Ballarat Botanical Gardens have been heritage listed.The 40-hectare site next to Lake Wendouree was added to the Victorian Heritage Register yesterday.Ballarat City Council sustainability executive manager Ian Rossiter said the listing would ensure that council's future management would honour and respect the gardens' style.The gardens, developed from 1858, have significant mature trees, especially conifers and deciduous trees, which are some of the largest and rarest in Victoria.''It's a place of heritage significance because the gardens were established right at the city's settlement. This is quite remarkable,'' Mr Rossiter said.The botanical gardens is home to the Australian Ex-Prisoner of War Memorial to honour 37,000 soldiers, the Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society's trout hatchery, the sound shell, wetlands, Ballarat Vintage Tramway Museum and the annual Begonia Festival.The gardens have characteristics typical of the 19th century ''gardenesque'' style, including path layout, open lawn areas planted with mature specimen trees, formal avenues, bedding displays and horticultural buildings.''The listing will ensure that council's management in the future will honour and respect that garden style,'' Mr Rossiter said.He said changes to the gardens would require a permit from Heritage Victoria.But he said it would provide a good opportunity for the council to get professional advice and funding for projects.''Heritage Victoria will ensure the character of the gardens are not altered without approval,'' Mr Rossiter said.Heritage Council of Victoria chairman Daryl Jackson said a number of donations provided a collection of features, including statues and the Prime Ministers' Walk, which made the gardens the centrepiece of local civic pride.The Victorian Heritage Register is the official listing of more than 2000 places and objects which have been assessed as important to the state.

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