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Coastal Open Space System (COSS)

An Introduction to Gosford City's Coastal Open Space System of Reserves

What is the Coastal Open Space System?

As you drive down from Somersby plateau to Gosford there is something striking about the landscape that unfolds before you: Gosford City
and its suburbs are nestled in a sea of green ridgetops.

The Gosford City Council's Coastal Open Space System (COSS) is a network of bushland reserves set aside and managed for their natural
beauty and nature conservation values. The COSS was created in 1984, and Council continues to actively purchase identified high nature
conservation value land as it becomes available. Funding for purchasing and managing
the COSS bushland reserves comes from rates and special contributions made by developers.The COSS and other Bushland Reserves are
managed by Council's Natural Open Space Unit.

COSS acronymn logo


The COSS Logo

The COSS reserves have their own logo, which was developed
by a local graphic design firm in consultation with Council
and the then community representative advisory committee called 
the COSS Task Group. The logo elements are woven into a circle,
symbolising the connections between the landscape elements - the
green of the bush, the blue of the oceans, lagoons and rivers,
and pink representing Gosford City's cultural emblem, a heath
flower called Epacris longiflora.


Epacris longiflora

How do I find the COSS Reserves?

The COSS Reserves are found throughout Gosford City, from ridgetops to lagoons, giving us our clean, green backdrop. The largest and most
accessible COSS Reserves include:

Reserve Name

Main vehicle access point/s

Main pedestrian access point/s

Kincumba Mountain Reserve Island View Drive, Kincumber Bronzewing Drive, Erina
Rumbalara Reserve Dolly Avenue, Springfield Henry Wheeler Place & John Whiteway Drive, Gosford
Katandra Reserve Katandra Road, Holgate & Toomeys Road, Mt Elliot
Berry's Head Reserve Belina Avenue, Wyoming Berry's Head Road, Wyoming
Mt Ettalong Reserve Patonga Drive, Pearl Beach

You can search for your closest COSS reserve on the MyGosford Reserves web site.

What's special about the COSS Reserves?

The five key values of the COSS have been identified as:

Scenic Quality:

The COSS is a backdrop to the city, and contributes to the sense of place in Gosford.

Natural Setting:

The COSS consists of substantially unaltered natural ecosystems that provide a range of wildlife habitats, and
include a diversity of vegetation species and associations.

Human Interaction:

The COSS is all around us, and offers many opportunities recreation, education and scientific endeavours.

Cultural Significance:

The rich Aboriginal cultural heritage including sites, places, stories and landscapes; and the signs and stories
of early European settlement.

The System:

The size, proximity and linkages of the COSS enhance the overall value of the individual reserves and other
parcels of land.

How was land for the COSS Reserves selected?

The predominant colours of Gosford City are the green of the bushland, the blue waters and white beaches. How did Gosford City
manage to preserve its network of natural bushland despite the pressures of urban development?

The importance of preserving land with high aesthetic and environmental values in the Central Coast area was initially identified
in 1975 as part of the Rural Lands Study prepared by the NSW Planning and Environment Commission. This study recommended the long
term conservation of the features that make this area so special - the steep sandstone ridgelines, prominant hills, headlands, seacliffs,
wetlands, dunes and flora and fauna habitats.

Gosford Council used the recommendations of the Rural Lands Study to create the Coastal Open Space System in 1984 - a system of
natural area reserves to conserve the natural values and give access for all to enjoy.

Red-eyed Green Tree Frog

Where can I find more information on the COSS Reserves?

Creek banner

Photos on this page by: Phil Wood, Brent Evans, Warren Brown, Marjo Patari, Lisa Ford