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

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Biodiversity is not just a trendy buzz-word, it is the term for the web of life we depend upon.  It includes the millions of species of living beings (microbes, fungi, plants, animals and humans) which inhabit the surface of the planet.  Dr Harry Recher who chairs the National Biodiversity Council recently estimated that we are losing 8 species an hour or about 70,000 a year worldwide due to human activities.  We cannot afford to go on like this.  Apart from the unknown effects of this loss on the whole biosphere, from a purely selfish point of view, some of these species could be very useful to us as food or medicine. 

If you would like to do something locally to help to preserve our biodiversity here are some suggestions: Make sure pet cats and dogs are desexed, kept indoors at night and attach bells to warn wildlife.
  • Use natural Australian plant disinfectants like Eucalyptus and Teatree oils.
  • Build a compost heap.  Shred and compost garden weeds rather than dumping them in the bush.
  • Make your garden a haven for native plants and birds.  Native species need less water, pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Drive slowly at dawn and dusk, and where trees grow close to the road.  Too many native animals are killed on our roads.

Creating a Bush Friendly Backyard

Why a Bush Friendly Backyard?

  • Low impact on the environment – less water, fertiliser, pesticide, construction.
  • Provides a refuge for local wildlife for nesting, resting and feeding.
  • It can be low maintenance, freeing you up for other pursuits!
  • It is your contribution to protecting our biodiversity.

Frogscaping your garden

Frogs have been around for over 200 million years yet in the past two decades their numbers have been declining worldwide at an alarming rate. We can help our local species by setting up a frog pond in our garden. Frogs require permanent water, together with humidity, shelter and food.
A frog pond can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. A baby's pool situated under overhanging vegetation can work just as well as a custom made model requiring far more effort. It is really up to you and the overall affect you wish to achieve.

Gardens for Birds

Native birds prefer nectar, seed, fruit and insects from native plants. Even a small garden can be planned to provide food all year round by choosing plants with a variety of flowering times.
Seed - can be provided by wattles, eucalypts, casuarinas and hakeas.
Nectar - is abundant in most banksias, grevilleas, callistemons, melaleucas and eucalypts.
Fruit - can be seed on pittosporums and lillypillies.
Insects - occur on all plants.