Bushland Restoration

There is over 684 hectares of bushland in Camden Local Government Area (LGA), which means that most of us only 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.

Download the Map of Bushland in Camden Council Reserves

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 are in varying condition and are being restored through Council’s Bushcare Program, bushland restoration work and relevant grant programs. Some of these projects are outlined below. For further information on any of the projects outlined below, contact Camden Council’s Natural Resource Project Officer on 4654 7777 

More information

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.  

Saving our Species – Elderslie Banksia Scrub Forest

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.

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.

Bushland Regeneration, Elizabeth Throsby Reserve

Camden Council has undertaken work to regenerate remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland at Elizabeth Throsby Reserve, Currans Hill. On-ground weed management and bush regeneration works were completed which targeted the woody weeds African Olive (Olea europaea) and African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum). This restoration work was completed in June 2017 and carried on work originally conducted by a Green Army Team in 2016.

Work to complement the restoration of the Reserve continued with the installation of rural style fencing and bollards to prevent illegal dumping in the areas that are now open following removal of the dense woody weeds.

Bush Regeneration, Gundungurra Reserve (South)

Camden Council completed bush regeneration works within Gundungurra Reserve (South) as part of a restoration project supported by Greater Sydney Local Land Services through funding from the NSW Government. The project aimed to regenerate and restore Cumberland Plain Woodland through the removal and control of invasive and noxious weeds including African Olive (Olea europaea), African Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) and Lantana (Lantana camara).

Weed removal and treatment was conducted over approximately three hectares of the site by contractors. This work to control African Olive and African Lovegrass in Cumberland Plain Woodland, has led to the buffering and protection of regenerating Elderslie Banksia Scrub Forest and has contributed to the enhanced resilience of the Spring Farm Bushland Corridor.

In partnership with Camden Council, the Rural Fire Service (RFS) conducted a prescribed burn in Gundungurra Reserve (South) in Spring 2016. The prescribed burn occurred across approximately one hectare in order to reduce fuel hazard and regenerate native vegetation. Fire can be a useful tool for ecological conservation by assisting native plants to regenerate and providing an improved food source for native animals. The low intensity prescribed burn conducted within this area has contributed to a reduction in the fire hazard of African Olive and other weeds, as well as provided ecological benefits to native plants such as Kangaroo Grass. Common Wallaroos and many woodland birds will also benefit from an enhanced food source and habitat.

Council has also signed a Biobanking Agreement for Gundungurra North and South Reserves. This is a binding agreement that ensures protection and enhancement of the biodiversity values of the bushland in perpetuity. Management of the site is still in the passive phase, however a detailed management plan has been prepared that covers actions and initiatives to be implemented over a 20 year period that will be enacted when the site is able to move into active management, with the works funded through the sale of biodiversity credits.

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.

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 habitat trees 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 Trail Habitat Corridor Enhancement and Extension

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.