History of Stony Creek valley

Plan of Management for Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve updated. Additional planting and repairs to wallaby exclusion fences.

Dense planting of eucalypt and rainforest species on lower slopes in areas damaged by the storm.

New interpretive signs were installed on Rosedale Road bridge railing. In November a severe storm damaged many large trees, breaking off their tops and uprooting others.

A weather station was installed in Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve. More details are available here.

In September, an ecological burn, area 0.27 ha, was conducted on the southern slope.

Environmental studies undertaken in preparation for redevelopment of the Anglican Retirement Village site between Edward Street and Melkin End.

A section of the sewer along Stoney Creek in Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve was inspected through management holes, relined and seals replaced to avoid overflows.

Trees removed from the edge of the reserve adjacent to houses near the flying-fox camp to minimise the impacts of noise, defecation and odour on residents.

Heat stress on 18 January killed 358 grey-headed flying-foxes, mostly juveniles. Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve Plan of Management updated.

A Bush Neighbours was held 4 March at Darnley Oval by Ku-ring-gai Council and Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society, which included meeting live flying-foxes, displays and information about local wildlife and bushland, a questions and answers session and refreshments.

Invasive weeds, especially vines, were removed along cliffs on both the north and south perimeters of the reserve by contract bush regenerators funded by a Council Environmental Levy. Cliff weeding, funded by Ku-ring-gai Environmental Levy Small Grant awarded to Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society.

Radio receiver and data logger installed for 12 months in Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve to record grey-headed flying-foxes with radio-transmitters attached. The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Sydney was undertaking research in preparation for removing the flying-fox camp at the RBG. Flying-foxes were caught there and transmitters attached to a collar.

The abundant flowering of red bloodwood trees (Corymbia gummifera) in the northern Sydney area attracted an estimated 50,100 grey-headed flying-foxes to the reserve from February to April.

A study “Micro-climate roosting preferences of the grey-headed flying-fox” was carried out in the valley and other locations. Microclimate_study

Land added to Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve:
NSW Government purchased 4,400 m2 of privately owned land, previously designated ‘county open space’ to avoid development on this steeply sloping land which juts into the reserve. This bushland was incorporated into the reserve.

Neighbours of Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve: community attitudes survey.  View or download the survey: KBCS_Survey

Management Plan for Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve adopted by Council. View or download the plan: Ku-ring-gai_Management_Plan_1999

Conservation Agreement Grant:
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) provided a grant of $30,000 for research, interpretation and catchment management to Ku-ring-gai Council to assist in managing the reserve. Council, NPWS and KBCC representatives together planned the projects –


  • The name Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve was adopted by the Geographical Names Board.
  • Conservation Agreement

Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve was protected by a Conservation Agreement signed in February by the NSW Minister for Environment, Tim Moore, and the Mayor of Ku-ring-gai, Richard Lennon. The Conservation Agreement is attached to the title of the land and operates in perpetuity. It commits Ku-ring-gai Council to restore and maintain the habitat of the grey-headed flying-fox in the reserve and the Minister to assist with provision of technical advice and financial assistance to the owner to ensure provision of education opportunities and interpretation for the public regarding the flying-foxes.


  • In January Ku-ring-gai Council and NSW Government (using Heritage Funding) jointly purchased two lots of the subdivision at 18 Edward Street to protect the flying-fox camp. Cost of the purchase was $185,000.
  • R. Buchanan completed an ecological assessment of the area being restored in Stoney Creek Valley. View or download the assessment: Buchanan_R_Gordon_Site_Assessment_1985

Report to NPWS by Dr A.N.McWilliam regarding Gordon Bat Colony was issued. View or download the report: Gordon_Fruit_Bat_Colony_Report_A_McWilliam_1984


  • Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council commissioned R. Buchanan, ecological consultant, to survey Council’s bushland. In the report, ‘Municipality of Ku-ring-gai Bushland Management Survey Report’ section D, page 29 Stoney Creek Reserve – the flying-fox camp, is listed as one of the Reserves of Highest Ecological Value.
  • Ku-ring-gai Council approved subdivision of 18 Edward Street. The flying-fox camp occupied part of this subdivision.
  • Following public opposition to the subdivision approval, the Minister for Environment and Planning issued an Interim Conservation Order on the site to permit an investigation by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and report on the flying-fox habitat.

1980 to 1981
As well as grey-headed flying-foxes, little red flying-foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) camped in Stoney Creek valley between 27 December and 4th February 1981.  Estimated number was 1200. (Puddicombe, 1981: visit the Studies and papers page to view or download this thesis.)

Stony Creek was renamed Stoney Creek and registered by Geographical Names Board.

Grey-headed flying-foxes were camped near Lady Gowrie Nursing Home and 18 Edward Street, Gordon (McWilliam, 1984).

1950 to 1965
Flying-foxes camped near Browns Waterhole in Lane Cove River valley, about 6 kilometres west of Stoney Creek valley, which they used seasonally.

Flying-foxes were observed flying out from Davidson State Recreation Area (now Garigal National Park), just east of Stoney Creek Valley. (Mc William, 1984)

Bushfires reported in the lower part of the valley near Bell Street.

1944 -1949
Brian Wright, resident of Fern Street, Pymble recalled that he had seen bats in the trees below Minns Road and sometimes flying around on his walk to school via Richmond Park and the Suspension Bridge across Stoney Creek (He sent a message to SydneyBats website 13 December 2021).

Bushfires were reported by residents to have occurred causing some damage to property.

Water Board installed a major trunk sewer along the valley.