Bushland Restoration

There is over 684 hectares of bushland in Camden Local Government Area (LGA), which means that most of us are lucky enough to live a stone’s throw away from native Australian bushland.

Most of the bushland currently in Council’s ownership is in the southern half of the LGA, but the urban development of areas in the north of the LGA will result in the acquisition of bushland areas, increasing the amount of bushland in Council’s ownership over time.

Download the Map of Reserves and Biodiversity Corridors in the Camden LGA.

Camden’s bushland contains a range of vegetation communities which are listed as Critically Endangered Ecological Communities and Endangered Ecological Communities under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act). These communities include Cumberland Plain Woodland, River-Flat Eucalypt Forest, Elderslie Banksia Scrub Forest, and Western Sydney Dry Rainforest.

These communities are in varying condition and are being restored through Council’s Bushcare Program, and bushland restoration programs and projects that are often delivered through partnerships, and with funding support from grant programs. Some of these projects are outlined below. For further information on any of the projects contact Camden Council’s Natural Resource Project Officer on 4654 7777. 

More information

Bush Regeneration – Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve

Camden Council undertook work to regenerate a portion of bushland at Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve, Camden South. The overall aim of the project was to regenerate native vegetation through on-ground weed management and protection of native species. The restoration site included two patches of bushland which have been managed as a ‘no-mow’ zone for over a decade, allowing native grasses, shrubs and some canopy trees to populate the site.

Weeds such as African Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella trichotoma), and woody weeds such as African Olive (Oleaeuropaea) and African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) have been removed and controlled as part of this project. Controlling weed spread within the site, encourages native species such as Weeping Meadow Grass (Microleana stipoides), Plume Grass (Dichelachne crinita), Bulbine Lily (Bulbine bulbosa) and Grey Box (Eucalyptus moluccana) to regenerate.

These small patches of Cumberland Plain Woodland are very important to the Camden region. This ecological community is not found outside of western Sydney and, due to high levels of urban growth, it’s becoming even rarer in NSW.

Connecting Camden White Gum – Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve

The Connecting Camden White Gum project was delivered under the NSW Government’s Greening our City program in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Mount Annan, CSIRO, University of Sydney and Camden Airport. The project has established a seed orchard of 430 critically endangered Camden White Gums at Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve, Camden South. These genetically diverse trees will help to ensure the survival and resilience of this iconic local species and will be maintained and monitored through a partnership under the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program.

Check out the project video to hear more about this innovative project to safeguard the future of Camden White Gums in Camden: https://youtu.be/kjguAaUoPK0.

These plantings will be instrumental in connecting remnant Camden White Gums along the Nepean River corridor and builds on other plantings undertaken by Council at Rotary Cowpasture Reserve, Camden Cricket Facility at Ferguson’s Land, Camden Town Farm, Ron Dine Reserve and the Nepean River corridor at Spring Farm. More plantings are planned under the Saving our Species program over coming years on both private and public land.

Riparian Restoration Project – Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve

Building on the success of the Connecting Camden White Gum project Council has also partnered with Sydney Water and Downer BMD Joint Venture to remove a significant area of woody weeds and restore native vegetation along the creek line in Elizabeth Macarthur Reserve, Camden South.

 A large infestation of woody weeds including African Olive (Olea europea subsp. cuspidata), Privet (Ligustrum sp.) and Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) had established along the creek line within the reserve, crowding out native vegetation and contributing large amounts of leaf litter and debris to the waterway. Mechanical weed removal was undertaken in July 2023 with the mulched material left in situ to aid in soil retention and prevent erosion.

 3,000 native plants from the Critically Endangered River-Flat Eucalypt Forest (RFEF) plant community were installed in July and August 2023, including more than 1,500 plants by 200 members of the local community as part of National Tree Day event.  Bushcare volunteers also contributed to the installation of the plants and will assist with the maintenance of the area to control the regrowth of weeds and ensure the survival of the planted vegetation. 

 This project connects important remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland within the Reserve to the Nepean River as part of an important biodiversity corridor for local wildlife.

Creating Habitat for Camden White Gum – Camden Town Farm

Council received grant funding from the Federal Department for the Environment, through Round 3 of the 20 Million Trees Program, to undertake the staged removal of over four hectares of woody weeds along the Nepean River riparian corridor at Camden Town Farm.

This was followed by planting of 22,000 native trees, shrubs and grasses, to extend the River-flat Eucalypt Forest (Critically Endangered Ecological Community) and create habitat for the Nationally Threatened plant, Camden White Gum (Eucalyptus benthamii). This project re-instated 200 Camden White Gum along the Nepean River to encourage gene flow with wild stands and help ensure the long-term survival of the species. 

Creating Habitat Trees

A “habitat tree” is a tree that has been damaged by a storm or lightning strike. Instead of removing the damaged tree completely, the branches and trunk are pruned for public safety reasons, with the rest of the tree retained because it is important habitat for local wildlife. Its branches are used for perches for birds, bats and small mammals and its tree hollows are used by mammals and birds as nesting locations.

Tree hollows can take more than 100 years to develop naturally and, due to urban pressures, are becoming rare in the local and Greater Sydney area. Because tree hollows are becoming increasingly rare, and their formation is such a slow process, it’s very important to conserve and enhance existing habitat trees. Protecting habitat trees will greatly assist conservation of bird, bat and mammal species and help to ensure that these animals are not lost from the Camden area.

Council has created a number of habitat trees, including at Belgenny Reserve, Macarthur Park and Catherine Fields Reserve. These habitat stags were created as the trees contained habitat values, such as hollows. This strategic arborist work enabled the trees to retain their habitat values while remaining safe for visitors of the reserves.

Nepean River Corridor Enhancement – Rotary Cowpasture Reserve

Council received grant funding from the Federal Department for the Environment, through Round 1 of the 20 Million Trees Program, to enhance and extend a portion of the Nepean River Habitat Corridor within Rotary Cowpasture Reserve. This was achieved through the removal of two hectares of woody weeds and replacement planting with locally native plants of the River-flat Eucalypt Forest vegetation community.

Weed removal and revegetation works restored River-flat Eucalypt Forest within the project site and extended the existing vegetation within King’s Bush Reserve. Restoration of the site has provided plants and animals with an ecologically rich habitat to thrive in and the community of Camden has benefited from the improved views when crossing Cowpasture Bridge and walking the Nepean River Trail.

Over 12,000 trees were planted at the project site during six community planting events. Long-term environmental maintenance of the site is undertaken through Council’s Bushcare Program.


Saving our Species – Spring Farm

Saving our Species is the NSW Government’s conservation program that aims to maximise the number of threatened species that can survive securely in the wild in NSW. The program is designed to develop partnerships with organisations and researchers to align conservation work.

Elderslie Banksia Scrub Forest (EBSF) is listed as Critically Endangered under both NSW and Commonwealth legislation and a targeted strategy for managing this ecological community at the Spring Farm management site has been developed under the Saving our Species program.

Since 2018 Council has been working with the NSW Government through the Saving our Species program on the conservation of the EBSF located at Spring Farm and has undertaken the following work:

  • seed collection and propagation of plants for the site;
  • primary and secondary weed control;
  • rabbit control;
  • installation of signage to provide information on the importance of EBSF;
  • removal of dumped rubbish and litter; and
  • establishment of a Bushcare group for the site that has contributed over 200 hours of work to install native plants and maintain the site.

Elderslie Banksia Scrub Forest (EBSF) Restoration - Spring Farm

Council is undertaking vegetation management works as part of the implementation of a long-term vegetation management plan (VMP) within bushland reserves at Spring Farm. The VMP will increase the extent of, and improve the condition and connectivity of the Critically Endangered Elderslie Banksia Scrub Forest (EBSF) plant community that is found in the area. The works will also improve and provide important habitat for a range of native wildlife including wombats, wallabies, birds and microbats.

Delivery of the VMP involves the coordination of a range of activities to restore the EBSF over a ten-year period from 2023 through to 2033 , including

  • fencing;
  • weed control;
  • native plantings;
  • removal of dumped rubbish and litter; and
  • fauna monitoring.

These works will be undertaken by council staff and environmental contractors. There is also an active volunteer Bushcare group working with Council to restore and maintain areas within this important bushland corridor.

Woody Weed Removal and Restoration Project – John Oxley Reserve

Through a partnership with Greening Australia, Council has undertaken woody weed removal and restoration plantings at John Oxley Reserve, Kirkham. Woody weeds on the site consisting almost entirely of African Olive (Olea europea subsp. cuspidata) were removed using a mechanical tritter machine, with the material mulched and kept in place to prevent erosion and control weed regrowth. More than 20,000 native plants, including grasses, shrubs and trees from the Critically Endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland plant community were installed across the site in 2022. Community members assisted with the planting with National Tree Day celebrated at the site in July 2022. The plantings will increased the biodiversity of the site and help to restore wildlife habitat in an urban areas. Importantly the trees will also help mitigate urban heat, creating cooler, healthier open spaces where people can connect with nature.

Woody Weed Removal – Harrington Forest

A program to remove woody weeds within the Harrington Forest Reserve in the north-west of Harrington Park is underway. Woody weeds such as African Olive (Olea europea subsp. cuspidata), African boxthorn (Lycium ferossicimum), and Privet (Ligustrum sinsense) pose a threat to populations of native plants and animals and can create monocultures which shade out herbs and grasses, reducing biodiversity and food sources for mammals and insects. Removal of these weed species will be undertaken by bush regeneration contractors. With follow up treatment to prevent their re-establishment and allow native plants to regenerate from the soil seed bank.

This project is contributing to the restoration of the critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland ecosystem, including the conservation of the threatened plant species. Harrington Forest is an important wildlife corridor for animals including migratory birds in the region and contains many remnant trees that provide important habitat and shelter for a variety of native animals.