Prior to the establishment of the Australian Botanic Garden (Mount Annan Botanic Garden) in 1988, the land was part of rural holdings taken up by settlers in the early 1800s. Past land management has been patchy, and areas have been variously cleared or partly cleared, cultivated and pasture-improved, and grazed by domestic and feral animals. Farming and grazing stopped in the years leading up to 1988.
The Cumberland Plain Woodland remnants at Mount Annan appear to have been the least-disturbed areas, and since 1988 Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust scientists have been studying the ecology and monitoring change in the remnant vegetation. Results from their work and its implications for management are provided in the links below.
The Conservation Woodland was set aside in 1988 and initially contained about 10 ha of Cumberland Plain Woodland vegetation. It was one of the first conservation areas to be designated, as it appeared to have the best remnant native bush (including a local population of the listed rare plant, Pimelea spicata), but like other parts of the Australian Botanic Garden, the site has a past history of partial clearing, grazing by domestic stock, and some localised cultivation and pasture improvement. In total, there are now approximately 35 hectares of good condition Cumberland Plain Woodland, including the Conservation Woodland, at the Australian Botanic Garden.
The Conservation Woodland is immediately north of the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan entrance gates and is accessible from Cunningham Drive.