Landcare and bushcare volunteers in the Northern Beaches provide 10,000 hours of service

A Greater Sydney Local Land Services survey has found landcare and bushcare volunteers in the Northern Beaches contributed 10,252 hours of environmental service in the 2021/2022 financial year.

Greater Sydney Regional Landcare Coordinator Madeleine Florin said their contribution equated to $427,713 worth of conservation efforts to protect and restore the area’s world-renowned bushland and $168,857 of avoided healthcare costs.

“The Blue Mountains is home to 64 groups compromising of 419 regular and 350 one-off volunteers carrying out activities including bush regeneration, tree planting (with 25,000 plants propagated), community education and advocacy work,” Madeleine said.

Local Landcare groups include Friends of Bungan, St. Anthonys Kierans Creek Landcare and Pittwater Natural Heritage Association.

“These groups work tirelessly to product the beautiful coastline and bushland in the north of Sydney,” Madeleine said.

At the recent 2023 Greater Sydney Landcare awards, Friends of Bungan received a highly commended award for their work. For the past 25 years, Friends of Bungan have been restoring a degraded dune system and tackling weeds, pest animals, including domestic dogs, and illegal dumping.

A Greater Sydney Local Land Services survey representing the state of landcare and bushcare in the Greater Sydney region for 2021/2022 has highlighted the integral role landcare and bushcare volunteers play in the enhancement, maintenance and protection of Sydney’s unique and beautiful bushland.

“Overall across the Greater Sydney region nearly 900 groups were engaged in bushcare and landcare activities, with 7,100 regular volunteers and 11,791 one-off volunteers contributing a total of 187,362 hours of work,” Madeleine said.

“This work is estimated to be equal to $7.8 million of in-kind labour costs which is a truly remarkable achievement given the first half of 2021/22 resulted in reduced numbers of workdays and volunteers due to COVID-19.

“While regular volunteer numbers declined by 30%, the number of one-off volunteers more than doubled compared to the last survey in 2019/20 and there was a 13% increase in the number of hours worked.

“Community health, wellbeing, citizen science, specialist skills and community education are all additional benefits that environmental volunteers provide to our region.

“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.”

Greater Sydney Local Land Services provided $183,949 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 National Landcare Program and other NSW Government funding.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services surveys landcare and bushcare groups across the region every two years to track the wellbeing of the volunteer community.

“This information helps us to understand the type of support these volunteers need and promote the benefits off environmental volunteering across the region,” Madeleine said.

Read the full report here.

Related news

Related information