The Penrith local community will be the first to explore the historic grounds of Western Sydney’s Fernhill Estate, with a new walking track opening to local residents this weekend.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said a new 2.6 kilometre walking track within the Estate will trial opening on weekends from Saturday, 6 June.
“Fernhill Estate was purchased by the Government for public open space in 2018 and will be a fantastic parkland once it’s fully opened, providing more than 400 hectares of open space for the community to enjoy,” Mr Stokes said.
“In the meantime, we’ve created a new loop track for local residents to tour the grounds and the outside of the homestead in what is one of the earliest surviving estates in the Sydney basin.”
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said two neighbouring properties had also been purchased to expand the Estate.
“Fernhill Estate will be a wonderful asset for the people of Western Sydney for generations to come and we are working to restore and repurpose it for public use,” Mr Ayres said.
“We are developing a Plan of Management that will set out the NSW Government’s vision for the site and outline its future use, management and preservation.”
Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies said the new track will give residents a glimpse of the historic homestead and its grounds.
“Surrounded by the Cumberland Plain Woodland and boasting beautiful gardens, lakes, paddocks and sandstone buildings from the 19th Century, Fernhill Estate will provide a haven for visitors to enjoy and wildlife to thrive,” Ms Davies said.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance our parks, tracks and public spaces for the health and wellbeing of the community and this new track will provide a wonderful place for residents to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.”
The trial will see the 2.6 kilometre scenic walking loop open for Penrith LGA residents on weekends and public holidays between 10am and 4pm, with the view to extend it to the wider Sydney community as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
For the safety of the community, the number of visitors will be capped at 100 people in the morning and 100 people in the afternoon to ensure that social distancing practices can be maintained. Penrith residents will need to register online to book their visit.
Community consultation has been reopened to allow the community to have its say on the future of Fernhill Estate once they’ve had a chance to visit the site. Consultation will be open until Tuesday, 30 June 2020.