In 1971 the Country Club approached the Lane Cove Council with a plan to extend the ninth hole of the golf course into the eastern part of the Osborne Park valley. A group of local residents, concerned about this proposal, held a meeting which formed the basis of the Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society. So many people attended, they spilled out of the hall on Pottery Green, as the history of the Society records in its book, Beyond the Untidy Fringe.  The attitude to natural bushland in an urban environment was changing: it was no longer being seen as scrub to be cleared for development, but a precious asset.
Vincent Serventy, author, ornithologist conservationist and a resident of Hunters Hill, addressed the first meeting of the Society saying, “a million-acre wilderness or a tiny park in a suburb have qualities that are important to our civilization.” In supporting the Gore Creek Valley campaign he wrote, “once you get past beyond the untidy fringe, the valley is beautiful with clear pools and an area which is a delight to walk through.”
The early residents of Cogan Place, the cul de sac above the golf course, were awakened to the value of the bushland on their doorstep by Brian Patterson, and English biochemist with the CSIRO who enthusiastically pointed out that there were more species of indigenous plants within a 20 mile radius of Sydney CBD than there were in the whole of the UK. Jan Craney said that the shades were lifted from her eyes and her bushland surroundings became ‘differentiated, wondrous, valuable, unique.
Nevertheless, land clearing began for the extension of the golf course. Jan literally stood in front of the bulldozers with her children, even though the driver told her he had insurance to drive over anyone, which was extraordinary. The proposed development went to court in May 1972 and galvanised, the Society organised an Arts and Crafts sale which raised sufficient finance to support their case. Finally Lane Cove Council resolved to limit the extension of the golf course and settled out of court
In 2000 Lane Cove Bushland Park and Osborne Park were finally listed on the Register of the National Estate as rare fungal species of the family Hygrophoraceae or waxcups were found there.
The Local Government Area of Lane Cove includes 90 hectares of bushland, much of it along the tributaries of the Lane Cove River. In the 1970s it was ignored or used for dumping rubbish, but as the demand for, housing, schools, roads and recreation areas, increased, this land came under pressure for development. The Society therefore, became involved in surveying the bushland, and monitoring development applications to Council.
Since the 1970s the Society has been in the forefront of ecologically sustainable development advocating for waste management, recycling and composting and water management. The Society supported restrictions on inappropriate development and freeways that degraded residential and bushland areas. We were early advocates for the creation of the Lane Cove Plaza by road closure.
The Society has helped the development of two well – known associations: The Better Planning Network and the Coal and Gas Watch. Click on their logos below for more information.
The aims of the society
- to preserve the biodiversity of the natural heritage of Lane Cove Municipality by means of conservation and the proper management of the natural bushland, wet lands and aquatic ecosystems, both for their intrinsic value and for the use of enjoyment of present and future generations;
- to ensure that air, land and water pollution controls in Lane Cove are of a sufficiently high standard and are adequately implemented so as to prevent harm to human health and the natural environment; and
- to represent locally the wider concerns expressed in Australia and internationally for the protection of the natural environment and where appropriate take action to express support for such concerns.
The Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society is incorporated under the Associations Incorporations Act 1984 and has a constitution and organisation approved under the legislation.
 Macleod, Virginia, Beyond the Untidy Fringe, Lane Cove Library, 2012. http://www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au/Community/Library/LocalHistoryPublications/Pages/BeyondtheUntidyFringe.aspx
 Macleod, Virginia, Ibid, p.28. See also Lane Cove Mayors A Retrospective 1895 – 2017, Lane Cove Library, 2017, page 20.
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