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Cork Oak Path gives access to the Birrarung

The Cork Oak Path restoration and conservation have been completed, opening this treasured heritage entrance to the Convent once again after being closed for many years. 

Heritage architect Nigel Lewis described the Cork Oak Path area as “…one of the most important cultural landscapes in Victoria”. Amongst the earliest surviving works at the Convent precinct, the Cork Oak Path is linked to the historic Abbotsford House, and features Cork Oak and Poplar trees that date from between 1900 and 1920. The Cork Oak Path has even retained its original path formation, from Abbotsford House down to the Birrarung, providing a tangible connection to the Convent’s history.  

Providing a vital link between the Birrarung and the Convent, the Cork Oak Path is a stunning way to enter the precinct.  The Path will also allow visitors to follow the Capital City Bike Trail, a route that leads from the CBD directly into the Convent.  

Conservation works have now fully restored the original spoon drains, ensuring good drainage that will keep the Path in excellent condition for many years.  The ACF has been able to re-lay the path itself with crushed rock, providing a beautiful and scenic new way to enter the Convent precinct.  

These works were achieved because of the ongoing support of our generous community, through our “Always Welcome” 2022 appeal, and a Proactive Grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation in 2022 and low bono support from Williams Boag Architects. The project builders were dbg Projects.  

 We are now turning our attention to raising funds for stage two of this project focused on lighting to ensure the Path and surrounding areas are accessible and safe in the evenings while being sensitive to our animals and environment.