• What pandemic, say Macarthur bush care volunteers

    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

  • NSW Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation Grant 2019 – Cumberland Plain Woodland Restoration Stage 2

    Phase 1 Completion

    Lantana infestation – February 2021

    Site following treatment – April 2021

    Cumberland Plain Woodland Restoration Stage 2 project formally commenced in November with photographing reference sites and seeking a ‘request for fee proposal’ from three accredited members of the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators. Following extensive evaluation of the three very detailed RFP responses, Ecohort P/L was awarded the Contractor section of the project site work.

    Ecohort’s team commenced Stage 1 site work on February 7, 2021. The 0.1 ha site of dense lantana thickets on steep terrain, located on the eastern zone of the Nangarin Nature Corridor, required 102 contractor hours to meet the requirements of the primary treatment phase. This phase was completed on March 26. Follow up treatment is anticipated due to the extensive lantana root systems. A Quadrat reference site was established and documented on April 30, with the support of GSLLS, to track the success of site regeneration efforts and weed control.

    Nangarin Landcare continued their work on the central zone of the nature corridor, an area identified as Stage 1 Landcare, targeting lantana, privet and moth vine. Heavy summer rainfall increased the weed problem in some areas and additional effort is being made to manage the expanded scope generated by this issue. A checkerboard pattern of lantana treatment has been implemented along fringe areas. This is to maintain habitat for the large number of small birds present and thereby minimise the impact of sudden habitat loss.

    Since September the Landcare team have provided ‘in-kind’ project support comprising 268 hours weed control, 51 hours on-site support to high school students and 26 hours follow up watering and maintenance of new plantings. Nangarin Landcare actively worked to engage with and promote project activities to residents and school students in the lead up to and during Stage 1 of the project.

    Two street signs were erected close to the major sites outlining the project work and funding support; additionally, three activity reports were provided to Nangarin residents in November, February and April. A Facebook site was used to promote activities and the Nangarin.com.au website contains information about the Landcare Group and project.

    Students from Wollondilly Anglican College participated in five on-site workshops between September and November to gain an understanding of the unique CPW ecosystem and assist with revegetation of a steep slope. Sessions were hands-on involving students in weed recognition, site mapping and planting a mix of endemic CPW species to minimise erosion. Wollondilly Shire Council (WSC) staff from the Environmental Outcomes team provided onsite information, tube stock from the Community Nursery and guidance to students on planting techniques, assisted by members of the Landcare team.

    A WSC Environmental Project Officer conducted an information session, for Nangarin residents immediately following the Annual General Meeting, on the unique fauna and flora of the CPW ecosystem and stories from the first nation inhabitants of the area. A detailed briefing session followed for members of the Landcare team.

    At the end date of Stage 1 the project is tracking on budget and on time.

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  • Nangarin Landcare Report EC Meeting – February 2021

    The Landcare Group wrapped up 2020 with two activities:

    Following the November AGM, Damion Stirling from Wollondilly Shire Council delivered a general information session for Nangarin residents, providing valuable insights into Nangarin Estate’s unique
    environment and history of the area. Damion spoke about fauna and flora, stories from first nation inhabitants and the importance of Cumberland Plain Woodland to the survival of many species.

    Continue reading Nangarin Landcare Report EC Meeting – February 2021