Landcare is a non-governmental community movement dedicated to preventing land degradation and achieving sustainable land management. It consists of a network of local volunteer groups of which there are over 1700 in New South Wales alone. Each group works to find local solutions to local problems such as salinity, soil degradation, animal pests, weeds, vegetation loss, waterside erosion, poor water quality, coastal degradation and urban land degradation. If you appreciate how lucky we are in the Helensburgh district to enjoy a relatively unspoiled bush environment you should also be aware that it is under serious threat. read more

Friday, 23 February 2018

Clean Up Australia Day - Sunday 4 March 2018

Australia has one of the best natural landscapes in the world.
From our pristine beaches, ancient forests and flourishing sealife, we have some of the most unique flora and fauna.
But the rubbish we create through mass consumption is choking our streets, beaches, parks, bushland and waterways.
And along the way it's killing one of our best assets: nature.
We are all part of the problem - but YOU can also be part of the solution.
Because when the rubbish is gone, nature can carry on ....

Helensburgh & District Landcare Group will once again be providing an opportunity for local residents to help Clean Up Australia. Come along to the Registration Point, The Old Mine Surgery, 78 Parkes Street, Helensburgh, between 10 am and 1 pm, on Sunday 4 March. Pick up a bag and then clean up an area of your own choice – maybe your local street or along the footpath where you regularly walk. Anywhere you have seen rubbish along the streets, footpaths, parks, bushland and creeks in our local area, this is your opportunity to do your bit for our local environment.

Please wear a hat and sturdy shoes, and bring gloves and water.

For more information email or ring 0414 819 742

You can also register on-line before the day at

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Grow Me Instead - Asparagus species

Grow Me Instead – Helensburgh & district

Asparagus spp.
There are many Asparagus spp. that have become environmental weeds in Australia. Details of the two that are impacting on Helensburgh and surrounding areas are below.

Asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus)
Bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) (Weeds of National Significance*)
Origin: Africa.
How it spreads: Dumping of garden waste. Seeds are dispersed by birds and small animals. Asparagus species are highly invasive environmental weeds.

Effects on the Environment
The ability to abundantly produce seeds and flowers enables asparagus fern and bridal creeper to quickly invade and suppress other plants.

 Asparagus fern

Asparagus fern swiftly attacks any disturbed, cleared sites of vegetation. The plant has become a dominant ground cover, displacing native plants. With its mat of fibrous roots and tubers, the plant has the ability to take over the soil, trapping water and nutrients and so reducing their availability to native plants.

Bridal creeper

Bridal creeper forms large underground rhizomes. It twines up into surrounding vegetation, eventually covering the ground and any plants.

Asparagus fern is a multi-branched prostrate herb forming a dense mat of roots. The fern-like branches grow to 60cm with a covering of small sharp spines. The plant has small white-pink clusters of flowers in late summer which ripen to bright red berries. These 'ferns' will overtake natural species by developing dense thickets that deprive other plants of light and nutrient as well as destroying habitat.

Removal: The central rhizome must be removed. For small plants lever the plant up with a hand tool. For larger plants, cut off the stems, then clear around the rhizome cutting the roots and levering out the rhizome. Dispose of rhizome and any fruit in the red bin. Water tubers and roots can be left as they will not reproduce.

Bridal creeper stems are long and wind around
vegetation or scramble along the ground. They range
from 1-3 m in length and can be slightly woody at
the base. Leaves grow alternately along the stem, are bright green, thin and glossy, are 1-7 cm long and have around seven parallel veins. Flowers are white and bell-shaped and grow singularly or in pairs along the stem. Fruit is bright orange to red berries. Roots are dark, cylindrical branching rhizomes bearing pale, fleshy tubers which become entwined together forming a dense mass about 5-10 cm deep in the soil. The stems arise from the rhizomes.

Removal: Hand pull and dig out the rhizomes. All underground material should be removed and follow up will be required. Dispose of rhizomes and any fruit in the red bin.

Grow Me Instead
 Grevillea species
As groundcovers there are several prostrate or low mound-forming Grevilleas, some of which even have similar foliage to the asparagus ‘ferns’, though they will not tolerate such shady conditions Grevillea obtusifolia and Grevillea juniperina ‘Molonglo’ with yellow to apricot flowers are just two of many available.
Chinese star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides
This evergreen vine from China has dark, glossy foliage and small, starry, white, spicy, nutmeg-scented flowers in summer. It is slow growing initially but later becomes vigorous. Variegated leaf forms are also available.
For shady areas: Prickly rasp fern, Doodia aspera. This is a pretty fern as its new growth is a bright pinky-orange. It makes a good groundcover for a shady site and is one of the most drought-tolerant local native ferns.

* Thirty two Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) have been agreed on by the Australian governments based on an assessment process that prioritised these weeds based on their invasiveness, potential for spread and environmental, social and economic impacts. Landowners and land managers at all levels are responsible for managing WoNS. State and territory governments are responsible for legislation, regulation and administration of weeds. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

New Wollongong Bushcare Group in Helensburgh

Our Helensburgh Creek site will now benefit from having a Wollongong Bushcare Group working there.

The first work day is Wednesday 22 February, 2017. We will be working from 9 am to 12 noon.
This site is our original Landcare site which we first started working on in 1993. A lot of great work has been done here over the years, but now we are seeing some new problems on the site.

If you can come wear sturdy shoes and bring gloves, hat and water.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Rise and Shine Community Cleanup 2016

Our annual ‘Rise and Shine’ Clean Up, sponsored by Wollongong City Council, will be taking place on Sunday 20 November, from 1.30 pm. We will be cleaning up the area around Helensburgh Station, down to Wilsons Creek, the access road to the carpark, and the old Railway Station and Tunnel, on the corner of Tunnel Road and Vera Street. This area is a high visability area for all the tourists who come to photograph our World-famous tunnels.
For more information, contact Merilyn on 0414 819 742 or email

Friday, 19 February 2016

Clean Up Australia Day 2016

Clean Up Australia Day, Sunday 6 March, 2016

Clean Up Australia Day is a national clean up day that was started by yachtsman Ian Kiernan. Since the national event started in 1990, Australians have donated more than 27.2 million hours cleaning their streets, parks, bushland and waterways on Clean Up Australia Day. Every year Australia wide, hundreds of thousands of Australians get stuck in and Clean Up their local environment by collecting and removing rubbish. It is always held on the first Sunday in March. This year it will be held on Sunday, 6 March.

Helensburgh & District Landcare Group provide a registration point in Helensburgh for residents to come along and register, pick up a bag and then go and clean up an area of their choice. The filled bag is then returned to the registration point. This provides you with an opportunity to clean up your own street or the local park. We can also suggest areas which need a clean up if you wish.

The registration point is at the Old Mine Surgery, 78 Parkes Street, Helensburgh, 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. You will need to wear a hat, gloves and sturdy shoes.  For further information, ring Sean on 0410 694 811, email