Landcare and bushcare volunteers in Greater Sydney provide $7.8 million worth of conservation efforts
A recent survey has found landcare and bushcare volunteers across Greater Sydney contributed 187,000 hours of environmental service in the 2021/2022 financial year.
The survey, carried out by Local Land Services, has highlighted the integral role landcare and bushcare volunteers play in the enhancement, maintenance and protection of Sydney’s unique and beautiful bushland.
Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty said their contribution equated to around $7.8 million worth of conservation efforts to protect and restore the area’s world-renowned bushland.
“Overall, across Greater Sydney nearly 900 landcare and bushcare 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,” Ms Moriarty 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.
“Volunteers carried out activities including bush regeneration, tree planting (with 669,000 plants propagated in 26 community nurseries), community education and advocacy work.
“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 Regional Landcare Coordinator Madeleine Florin said landcare and bushcare groups across the region are surveyed 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,” Ms Florin said.
Read the full report on the Local Land Services website.