Friends may not be aware that there exists a parcel of land approximately
halfway between River Avenue, Chatswood West and Epping Road, North
Ryde which is known as Fairyland. Fairyland is now part of Lane
Cove National Park but it was not always so.
turn of century the land was cleared for market gardens. Later,
in the 1920s, it was turned into picnic grounds. It was in this
guise that many older folk knew it. It has been suggested that the
name Fairyland was arrived at, not only because it was a place of
mystery and beauty, but also because it was the practice of the
Swan family, who ran the grounds, to place fairytale characters
in the trees.
people patronised the area a wharf, dance hall, kiosk and playground
etc were installed. Consequently, it was known as Fairyland Pleasure
Grounds. Access to the grounds was mainly by ferries. Later an access
road was built from Delhi Road, about 100 metres west of the Crematorium
gates. An old gate post is still standing but the road is now overgrown.
After many setbacks the picnic grounds closed in the 1970s and became
part of the then LCP State Recreation Area in 1978.
side of all this activity is the destruction of native vegetation
and the invasion of weeds into the area. Also, exotic species eg
camphor laurels and poplars were actually planted as shade trees.
Consequently, it is the task of Group 14 of the LCNP Bushcare program
to rectify this. The January 1994 wildfires destroyed any remaining
relics of the bygone era. As a result, only a few remaining building
posts can be seen together with a small concrete wall.
Most of the
area has revegetated with Acacia longifolia and other natives
together with numerous weeds. Much more work is needed to rid the
remaining areas of privet, morning glory, camphor laurel etc. Any
Friends interested in working in this historic area should contact
the Bush Regen staff at the Park on 9412 1811.
Group 14 Co-ordinator
North Walk winds its way through Fairyland and an enterprising member
of the Group, who just happens to work for IBM, has produced a coloured
business card to hand out to walkers who ask the most amazing questions
like AWhat ARE you doing?@ to the volunteers on their knees amongst
the weeds. Yes, you guessed it - they are worshippers of the new
Fairy Revival Cult having their twice monthly prayer meeting led
by Wizard Bernard.