Linnaeus Estate Charter
In 1996, The Broken Head Coastal Foundation purchased a large coastal estate at Seven Mile Beach on the far north coast of New South Wales. It named the property Linnaeus Estate in honour of Karl Linnaeus, the 18th Century Swedish naturalist and zoologist credited with laying the foundation for the modern biological naming scheme of binomial nomenclature.
It was recognised that the property was vulnerable to over-development and had suffered environmental degradation in the past. The Foundation’s vision is for the creation of a small community to be educative, environmentally responsible and to act as custodian of the site for future generations.
Compared with previous proposals for the 111 Hectare site at Broken Head, the scale of the Foundation’s approved development is minimal, covering less than 1 per cent of the site’s area.
The Foundation aims to preserve the natural features of the site, restore habitat and wildlife corridors and implement ongoing coastal, wetland and National Parks environmental care programs. These aims will become the platform for an essential part of the Foundation’s private education program.
The site’s unusual “private education” zoning positions the Foundation outside the fold of traditional educational establishments which are publicly run, regulated and funded. With no legal or regulatory directives constraining the manner and type of education that may be promoted, the way is open for the Foundation to diverge from standard thinking and teaching practices to offer an unconventional educational and lifestyle experience.
As evidence of its commitment to environmental responsibility, the Foundation has imposed stringent restrictions on itself for development on the estate to ensure sustainability and self-sufficiency with respect to water and wastewater management. These restrictions, which are entrenched for the next 150 years, will assist in guaranteeing the integrity of the estate as it is passed from generation to generation, so fulfilling one of the core principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD). The necessarily small-scale education program will be implemented primarily for the benefit and enjoyment of the Foundation’s participants. Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate where numbers permit. Given the context of the site and its pristine surrounds, the educational focus will be structured around coastal care and an environmental education experience and arts and culture.
As part of the external education program, the Foundation will make its facilities available to various organisations for conferences and training. Additionally, students from local and foreign universities will continue to visit the site as part of the ongoing environmental programs initiated by the Foundation.
With promotion of ecological sustainability being at the forefront of government planning, the Foundation’s estate will become a role model for future sustainable development. Integral to the operation of the Foundation is conservation of natural resources, orderly and economic use of land, provision of community facilities and protection of native animals, plants and habitats. By implementing the guiding principles of intergenerational equity, self-reliance, reduction of harmful discharge into the environment, and conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity, the Foundation has and will continue to achieve the stated aims, objectives and principles of the Byron Local Environmental Plan.
By acquiring an understanding and knowledge of these important ideals, the Foundation’s participants and visitors become beneficiaries of its vision.