Crommelin Biological Research Station

A worker at the Plant Breeding Institute

History

Crommelin Biological Research Station

During the period 1906-10, Miss Minard Fannie Crommelin was acting postmistress at Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast. She fell in love with the area, became an enthusiastic bushwalker, and developed a keen interest in the local flora and fauna.

Despite her subsequent postings to over 200 different towns, it was to this district that she retired in 1935 when she was left a legacy which enabled her to purchase land at Pearl Beach. She built a house for herself and a cottage that was used by bushwalkers.

Miss Crommelin's interest in wildlife did not cease with her retirement - she fought hard for the preservation of the local ecosystems, wrote innumerable letters to the authorities, and was at one time or another a member of 154 conservation and natural history societies.

In 1947 she gave the cottages and their contents to the University of Sydney for use as a "natural field station for research into and for the promotion of the study and the improvement and preservation of the native flora and protection of the native fauna...". A valuable book collection formed part of this gift and many of these books are now housed in the rare book section of the University's library.

General information

A bird searching for food on a beach

The station, also known as Warrah, is sited on 3 hectares of land, half of which has been left uncleared. It is bounded on 2 sides by the Brisbane Water National Park. Permits from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service are required before work can be undertaken in the National Park.

Accommodation is basic with 25 beds, mainly in four rooms. There is a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room, a small unequipped laboratory area, and a common room which is suitable for discussion sessions.

At present the facility is available to employed research workers and educators from the tertiary education system only. Children under 18 years of age are not permitted to use the station

Queries and bookings may be addressed to the Manager Teaching and Research Support, Michael Joseph.

Location

Crommelin Biological Research Station located 60 km north of Sydney at Pearl Beach, provides accommodation and basic laboratory and library facilities and access to adjacent wet and dry sclerophyll forests, sandy beaches, mangrove swamps and intertidal rock platforms.

Map showing the location of the Crommelin Biological Research Station