Biodiversity or biological diversity is defined as the variety of all living things, including plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems of which they form a part. It is not static, but is constantly changing.  It is increased by genetic change and evolutionary processes and reduced by processes such as habitat degradation, population decline, and extinction. - National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity (DEST 1996). 

More information on the Biodiversity of the Camden LGA and how Council protects and enhances biodiversity is available online. 

Plants and Animals



Camden Local Government Area (LGA) occurs on the Cumberland Plain. The main vegetation community is Cumberland Plain Woodland which is made of the two prominent Eucalypts, Grey Box (Eucalyptus moluccana) and Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) which typify the remaining treed landscape of Camden.

The ground layer in Cumberland Plain Woodland is typically made up of grasses such as Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) and Weeping Meadow Grass (Microlaeana stipoides).

There are other native plants that occur in other vegetation communities such as the forest that occurs along the Nepean River.

The plants and the vegetation communities provide a variety of habitats to a range of animals, including birds, mammals and insects. Because some of this vegetation has been extensively removed in the past and is still subject to various impacts, a number of plants and animals have been listed as threatened at a state and / or national level.

Native vegetation is important for the health of our environment, as it provides habitat for our native plants and animals, including threatened species. You can create a native garden in your own backyard which is easier than you think. You can create vibrant, colourful gardens with amazing colours, shapes and scents. Your native garden can act as a biodiversity corridor or ‘stepping stone’ to allow wildlife to move between patches of existing bushland.

The Camden Native Garden Guide has been developed to help residents improve the existing biodiversity in their garden, or to design a native garden from scratch.

Bushcare and Volunteering

Camden Bushcare is an environmental volunteer program set up by Council to encourage local communities to actively participate in managing and maintaining the remnant urban bushland areas in the Camden Local Government Area.

Volunteers are welcome to join any Bushcare Group currently working in bushland areas. Current locations include: 

  • Harrington Forest Scanlon Crescent, Harrington Park

                     Every third Saturday of the month from 9am to 12pm

  • Hayter Reserve Wire Lane, Camden South

                     First Friday of the month from 9am to 12pm

  • Kings Bush Reserve Chellaston Street, Camden

                     Every Tuesday from 9am to 12pm

                     First Sunday of the month from 9am to 12pm

  • Parrotts Farm Richardson Rd, Narellan (next to RFS)

                    Second Friday of the month from 9am to 12pm 

  • Ron Dine Reserve McCrae Dr (and Cowper Dr), Camden South

                     Third Friday of the month from 9am to 12pm

  • Sickles Creek Reserve Sickles Drive, Grasmere

                     Last Sunday of the month from 9am to 12pm

  • Spring Farm Hampshire Boulevard, Spring Farm

                    Second Saturday of the month from 9am to 12pm

Bushcare Groups are led by qualified bushland supervisors. Tools and materials are provided on-site. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm and the desire to participate in the restoration of the unique heritage and character of Camden’s bushland. Residents may also nominate to set up a Bushcare Group in their locality.

Download the Bushcare Program brochure for further information.

For more information contact Council's Natural Resource Project Officer on 4654 7777 or email

Natural Resource Management

Camden Local Government Area (LGA) is located partly within the South West Growth Centre and experiencing rapid urban expansion. Population growth and development place enormous pressure on natural areas and biodiversity due to habitat clearing, degradation of waterways and spread of pest animals and weeds. However, biodiversity needs to be protected so that essential life support systems and quality of life for residents are maintained.

The following are programs and initiatives facilitated by Council to help protect Camden's local biodiversity.

Biodiversity Education

Camden Council offers a range of biodiversity education activities and lesson plans, as well as annual competitions, to encourage our residents to explore Camden’s natural areas and foster a connection with our unique plants and animals.

Connect with Nature

The ‘Connect with Nature’ video series was developed in partnership with Penrith Council and Hooked on Nature and explores the unique plants and animals of Western Sydney that are found in the endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland and the Nepean River corridor.

To find out more, head here.

Threatened Species Art and Writing Competition

The Threatened Species Art and Writing Competition (TSAC) is a regional environmental education program, hosted by Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Councils. The competition is open to young people aged five to 12 years and encourages students to learn about the threatened species of the Macarthur region.

To find out more, head here. 

Macarthur Nature Photography Competition

The Macarthur Nature Photography Competition (MNPC), hosted by Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Councils, aims to inspire residents to appreciate and understand the natural world that surrounds them and capture this in a photograph. The competition is open to people of all ages.

To find out more, click here.

Plans, Strategies and Policies

The Plans, Strategies and Policies located here relate to the biodiversity of the Camden Local Government Area. These include:

Copies of Council's other plans and strategies and policies are available online.

Biodiversity Certification

I have received a s10.7 Certificate for my property and it says it is Biodiversity Certified. What does this mean?

In submitting a development application, a proponent is required to consider the impact of the development on threatened species on the site. However, if the land has been Biodiversity Certified, the proponent is not required to undertake an assessment of threatened species on the site as this has already been completed.

Biodiversity Certification addresses biodiversity issues upfront. For Biodiversity Certification to be achieved, it must be demonstrated that proposed conservation measures, to be applied to certain public lands within the Assessment Area, will improve or maintain biodiversity values. This approach enables practical decision-making and recognises the importance of opting for a cost-effective approach to delivering offset requirements.

The South West Growth Centre underwent Biodiversity Certification during the preparation of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 and Biodiversity Certification has been conferred over the Emerald Hills Estate, El Caballo Blanco,
Gledswood Hills and Camden Lakeside.

More information on these biodiversity certification orders, including links to the orders is available here.  

For more information about Biodiversity Certification please contact Council’s Sustainability Team Leader on 4645 5004.