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Hyde Park, Sydney

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Hyde Park, Sydney
Tree Removal

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ANZAC War Memorial Pool of Reflection, Hyde Park
ANZAC War Memorial Pool of Reflection

Stretching south from Liverpool Street, going north and meeting the bottom end of Macquarie Street, Hyde Park is cut in half by Park Street.

Across both the north and south part of Hyde Park is the famed ‘Avenue of Fig Trees’. These are the Hills Fig Trees (Ficus macrocarpa var hillii), planted in the early 1930's, following the construction of the City Underground Railway (known as the City Circle). Following the avenue north you are drawn to the Archibald Fountain. Walking south along the avenue leads you straight to the ANZAC War Memorial and the Pool of Reflection.
 

The Avenue of Fig Trees in Hyde Park at night looking towards the Anzac War Memorial.
The Avenue of Fig Trees in Hyde Park
at night looking towards the Anzac War Memorial.

The park is very popular with the lunch time city crowds, and is especially beautiful at night with the huge old fig trees covered in fairy lights.

At night, you also get the opportunity to see possums, but care should be taken, as they are still wild animals, and because of their poor eyesight, your outstretched fingers may be mistaken for food.

History of the Park: Governor Macquarie formally named Hyde Park and declared it to be used as a common for the people of Sydney, in 1810. It was to be the first space to be set aside for public recreation within an urban context.

The historic park was to have various incarnations, including Sydney’s first racecourse and later Sydney’s first cricket ground. Then during the early 1920s, the park was to undergo major upheaval from the excavation work to build the City Underground Railway. This work covered the length and breadth of the park and required an army of men to move the huge amounts of earth. The work was to continue throughout the decade.

In 1924 the City Council held a design competition to modify the park from its Victorian origins. This was probably to bring pressure to bear on the City Underground Project and to allay fears that the park would not be lost to the public for many more years.

The competition was won by Norman B Weekes who proposed a highly formal plan featuring a central avenue of fig trees and gardens on either side. Like many other projects, a modified version of his original vision was to be implemented, designed by three assessors. The park was mainly built and planted between 1924 and 1936.
 

Source: City of Sydney.

Today, Hyde Park is frequented by office workers during the week and plays host to a variety of festivals throughout the year, including the Festival of Sydney in January.

Wildlife
Wildlife seen in the park include a population of Australian White Ibis, sea gulls, pigeons, rosellas, sulphur crested cockatoos, passing fruit bats and possums.

The location of the park is:

Sydney Central Business District
Surrounded by College Street on the east side.
Liverpool Street on the south side.
Elizabeth Street on the west side.

 

Archibald Fountain at dusk in Hyde Park
Archibald Fountain at dusk in Hyde Park.

 

 

Avenue of Fig Trees in Hyde Park.

Avenue of Fig Trees in Hyde Park.

 

 

ANZAC War Memorial viewed from Park Street.
ANZAC War Memorial viewed from Park Street.

 
Disease Tree Removal
There is currently work being undertaken to remove (if they have not already been removed) some of the Hills Figs, due to infection by disease and fungi Phellinus species, Phytophthora species and Armillaria species, to ensure public safety.

Currently there are about 135 Hills Figs stretching from Hyde Park north to south.

Source: Urgent Tree Removal Works - City of Sydney Council

 
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