The Bradley Bushland Reserve is on Middle Head Road, a corner of harbour side Sydney wedged between the road, tennis courts and playing fields. Volunteers have been helping restore this locally unique patch of sandstone heathland, which honours the Bradley sisters, Eileen and Joan, who invented the concept of bush regeneration in this area in the 1960s.
These days Mosman is better known for its zoo, breathtaking views and some exorbitant property prices than as the home for thirty years of two women who helped to bring grassroots environmental activism into being. It was in their local bushland that these unlikely and ladylike eco-pioneers, working with other members of their local resident action group, got down on their middle-aged hands and knees and carefully, systematically, began to weed out the plants they believed to be out-of-place among the native flora.
After Joan Bradley’s death in 1982 The Mosman Parks and Bushland Association lobbied to have the hectare of bushland dedicated as a memorial to the Bradley sisters. At the opening of the reserve in 1988 Milo Dunphy, then director of The Total Environment Centre, spoke persuasively of the importance of community groups.
Today as the implications of the Greenhouse Effect are beginning to occupy us we need the sort of minds that regard an acre of natural bushland as precious, that can nurture it in the tiniest detail and draw general principles from it applicable to millions of acres up and down the country.
Fast forward and much has changed for the better. Land managers like local councils have money to spend on bushland management. Bushland is considered precious, not as available space for which a use has yet to be found. Great initiatives started by the Bradley Sisters, then taken over by Mosman Parks and Bushland Association means bush care in busy urban environments is still moving in the right direction, by involving community volunteers in the care of their local patches of bush.
Mosman Parks & Bushland Association