1960’s: Warriewood Valley (NSW). Death Valley/Poisoned Paddocks. Pesticides: DDT, Dieldrin

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By the 1960s, however, the glasshouses began to disappear because of the loss of traditional markets and competition from growers in Queensland, along with increasing residential development.

At the same time, the “glass city” and “crystal valley” monikers came to be replaced by more unpleasant ones, including “death valley” and “poisoned paddocks” as growers became aware of the deadly effects of the chemicals including DDT and dieldrin that had been used in the valley for years.

There were claims that between 10 and 20 growers had died as the result of chemical poisoning, although the Health Department denied there had been any increase in deaths related to the use of chemicals in the valley.

The valley was also known for its numerous stables and a riding school called Boots and Saddles but today there are thought to be no more than 15 horses left in the area.

Today the rural atmosphere of Warriewood and some of the most fertile soil on the peninsula has largely disappeared under the concrete and bitumen of suburban development.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/manly-daily/valleys-rich-soil-once-made-it-the-beaches-market-garden-mecca/news-story/6447560c11efa5c69060bcd608325378