BushCare and LandCare
Local BushCare and LandCare volunteer groups provide an incredible service greening our city and improving the local environment. Why not join in a working bee, meet like-minded people and see what it's all about?
We support several groups across Shellharbour:
- Tullimbah LandCare in Albion Park
- The Watercourse BushCare in Albion Park
- Blackbutt BushCare at Blackbutt Reserve
- Currambene Reserve BushCare in Flinders
- Oakey Creek BushCare in Oak Flats
- Koona Bay BushCare in Oak Flats
- Warilla Dunes BushCare in Warilla
For details of upcoming working bees, please see the latest Sustainable Shellharbour e-newsletter or contact our Natural Areas team on 4221 6111.
Citizen Science and BioBlitzes
We encourage local residents to get involved in citizen science, and help build knowledge about the plants, animals and fungi in our local area.
We held our first BioBlitz at Blackbutt Forest in April 2021. A BioBlitz is a citizen science event, where scientists, naturalists and the community work together to explore an area with the aim of recording as many species as possible over a short time. You can watch a video about what we found here, and see the results in iNaturalist.
We encourage you to sign up to iNaturalist, and the Australian Museum’s FrogID project to help improve our local biodiversity records. We have set up iNaturalist projects for Blackbutt Forest, and the Shellharbour area.
You can keep up to date with upcoming environmental events in Shellharbour by subscribing to the Sustainable Shellharbour enewsletter.
We manage and care for a range of bushland areas, from Blackbutt Forest to Bass Point and Croom Reserve. Many of these reserves have high environmental values, being home to threatened animals, plants, and ecological communities.
Our Natural Areas team, with the help of many volunteers in our Bushcare and Landcare groups, manage these valuable natural areas.
If you have further questions or enquires about our bushland areas, please contact our Environment team on 4221 6111.
Did you know the Illawarra is home to around 2,500 species of native plants?
Many local native plants are great choices for landscaping, and they can be used for any style of garden. For more information about growing local native plants in your garden, please see our Grow Local Native Garden Guide.
Everyone (not just Shellharbour ratepayers) is welcome to buy native plants from our nursery in Oak Flats.
Weeds are a threat to our environment. They compete with native plants, attract pest animals and upset the natural balance of our ecosystems. Weeds also cause problems for farmers and can damage crops and agriculture.
Within the Shellharbour City Council area weeds that pose the biggest threat are known as priority weeds. The South East Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan provides guidance on what the priority weeds for the Shellharbour area are.
Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 everyone has a General Biosecurity Duty (GBD) to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practical, the biosecurity risk posed by priority weeds is prevented, eliminated or minimised.
In our area, the Illawarra District Weeds Authority oversees work to control priority weeds. Visit their website for information about priority weeds and what can be done to control them.
Council's weed control work
We do several things to try and control weeds on public land across Shellharbour. This includes:
• Ground and aerial spraying. Our Pesticides Notification Policy explains where and how we spray problem weeds.
• Bush regeneration volunteer groups like Bushcare and Landcare regularly remove weeds and plant native species to help reduce the spread of weeds.
• Planning and research. We work with the NSW Government, Illawarra District Weeds Authority and neighbouring councils to share information and combine our efforts to control weeds.
Threatened species, together with other native animals, are coming under increasing pressure from predation by pest animals, and competition for food resources. Shellharbour City Council, along with neighbouring Councils and the NSW Local Land Services (LLS) and Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment (DPIE), are collecting data on the locations and populations of feral animals in our local area. The information collected will help identify the level of current risk and priority areas for on-ground pest control works to be undertaken.
Community members are encouraged to download the FeralScan app, and report sightings of pest animals such as wild foxes, deer or rabbits, through the app. This will help local land managers build a better understanding of the populations of feral animals and inform regional pest management programs.