Coffs Botanic Gardens, Saturday Nov 2
I love seeing these animals because they are not commonly seen, and they seem emblematic of a fragile natural environment, but koalas are what the English wildlife presenter Chris Packham calls “totemic symbols of cuteness”. He argues conservation must focus instead on more pressing issues, like unglamorous policy changes to mitigate the “Intensification of agriculture”. Controversial Conservation: a World Land Trust debate, Royal Society, 14 October 2013.
The gardens are amazing and not well utilised, there are mangroves and creek walks, a large Japanese garden and lots of bush with owls and koalas among other animals and birds.
I successfully applied for a grant to run a poets picnic- in the Japanese garden – next year.
The gardens are informative too:
“Of all scientific institutions botanic gardens have, perhaps, the longest history, some of them surviving for hundreds of years. Although their beginnings were in Italy—Pisa, Padua, Firenze and Bologna—the oldest in the English speaking world is that founded in 1620 at the University of Oxford in England.” David Mabberley, Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.
The earliest botanic gardens were entirely utilitarian and grew medicinal plants.
There are rare specimens and common ones, but even the ground itself has beauty and interest.