Berry Island Bushland Reserve

History

The Aboriginal history of the island is indicated by the numerous shell middens, axe grinding grooves and the large engraving found here.

In the early 19th century, this small island was attached to the property of Edward Wollstonecraft on the mainland by a stone causeway over mud flats. After he died, the property was passed to his sister and her husband, Alexander Berry. There was great debate over the use of the area for commercial and/or residential purposes. Public protests saw that the island was dedicated as a nature reserve for public recreation in 1926, along with Balls Head Reserve. In the 1960s the mudflats were filled in with car bodies, building rubble and relocated soil to created a grassed area.

Bush regeneration has been carried out on the island since 1980.

 

Access

Follow Shirley Road, off the Pacific Highway at Crows Nest to the end. Limited street parking. A 10 minute walk from Wollstonecraft station down Shirley Road.

 

Interest Spots

Aboriginal midden sites, watering hole and rock engravings.

 

Flora/Fauna

Berry Island consists of relatively untouched remnant Hawkesbury Sandstone vegetation, one of the most pristine bushland areas in North Sydney. As you walk around the island you will pass through open forest towering with Sydney Red Gums and Red Bloodwoods with a stunning understorey of flowering shrubs of White Spider Flower, pink flowering Crowea, Wattles, Banksias and the green and red bells of Correa. Shallow soils throughout the interior of the island supports a lower shrubland of Tick Bush, which makes important habitat for Ringtail Possums. Some locally rare plant species can also be found on the island, including Acacia longissima, Banksia oblongifolia and Grey Ironbark.

Berry Island is home to a few bird species, lizards and Ringtail Possums. Masked Plovers can be seen regularly on the lawn verge and Welcome Swallows are often seen gliding above the mown grassed area feeding on insects. A wildlife corridor was first planted along the grass verge in 1998. 

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