Nangarin team at work near Picton.

Landcare and bushcare volunteers in the Macarthur region have continued to rally for the local environment despite the challenges brought on by Covid-19.

A Greater Sydney Local Land Services [GS LLS] survey has found volunteer groups contributed more than 2,811 hours of environmental service in the 2019/20 financial year.

Regional Landcare coordinator Madeleine Florin says the work equated to around $117,275 worth of conservation efforts to protect and restore the area’s natural environment.

“The Macarthur area is home to 15 groups comprising more than 240 regular and casual volunteers carrying out activities including bush regeneration, tree planting, community education and advocacy work,” she said.

Local groups include Barragal and Nangarin Landcare.

“The Nangarin group are based in Picton and are currently working to restore a Cumberland Plain nature corridor on the Nangarin Vineyard Estate,’’ Ms Florin said.

“Barragal continue to work to support our Menangle fox control campaign aimed at reducing fox numbers in the area.”

Above: tree planting in Menangle

Across Greater Sydney 1,000 groups engaged in bushcare or landcare activities, with 8,850 regular volunteers and 4,700 one-off volunteers, contributing more than 150,000 hours of environmental work.

“This equates to an incredible $6.3 million in in-kind labour costs which is a truly remarkable achievement given the lockdown and impact of Covid-19 in 2020 which we estimate reduced the total number of volunteer work by about 50,000,” Ms Florin said.

“Overall, the number of active volunteers increased by 13 percent compared to the last survey in 2017/18 and there was a 20 per cent increase in hours contributed.”

Ms Florin said landcare and bushcare volunteers were integral to the protection and maintenance of our unique natural environment.

“They are very much the unsung heroes of our natural environment, working quietly behind the scenes purely for the love and passion for what they do.’’

GS LLS provided $220,814 to landcare and bushcare groups, supporting them to continue work restoring and maintaining environmental assets.

Funding was provided to the groups via the NSW Landcare Program, the NSW Environment Trust Every Bit Counts Program, Catchment Action NSW and the National Landcare Program.

Thursday, 20 May, 2021 in South West Voice News

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