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Living lightly

Published 20 Mar 2015 

Simone Bowskill and her husband David are nature lovers living on a one acre bush block in Wentworth Falls, among the beautiful Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

David and Simone Bowskill in front of Dome Rock on Boolcoomatta Reserve last year. Photo Bec Passlow.David and Simone Bowskill in front of Dome Rock on Boolcoomatta Reserve last year. Photo Bec Passlow.

When they arrived in 1984 they fell in love with the north-facing block and its breathtaking view. Over ten years they gradually built their home.

“We had a builder start if off, then we took it from there,” said Simone. “David was a TAFE teacher at the time, so he built it in the school holidays.”

Retired since 1998, Simone was a landscape architect, involved in parks around Sydney.

“We chose the plants according to the nature of the site,” she said, “using some indigenous and some exotic plants.”

Simone now has Parkinson’s disease, which has slowed her movements and speech, but hasn’t stopped her connecting with nature or dampened her determination to see it protected.

She’s still involved with plants through volunteer nursery work at the Blue Mountains Conservation Society. It was there that she first heard of Bush Heritage Australia.

As supporters David and Simone joined a tour of our remote Boolcoomatta Reserve in South Australia last year, where Reserve Manager Glen Norris presented our work. There was no part of the visit that Simone didn’t participate in, simply taking her time.

She described the experience as ‘spectacular’, loved Glenn’s dedication and now enjoys getting updates from the reserve.

Having supported Bush Heritage for several years, Simone and David are now confirmed bequest supporters, planning to leave a gift in their wills.

“The environment is at our heart and we feel it’s our responsibility to put something back,” she explains. “As white Australians we have done so much damage to the environment.”

“We have two daughters who agree with our sentiments,” she said. “It’s very hard – even if you’re committed to living lightly – to avoid impacting the environment. That’s why we support Bush Heritage.”