Big Scrub Landcare's mission is to help save the Big Scrub and its magnificent biodiversity

Our objectives are to promote, facilitate and participate in the restoration of the Big Scrub by:

  • rehabilitation of Big Scrub remnants; and
  • plantings of locally indigenous species on cleared Big Scrub land.

Big Scrub Landcare (BSL) formed in 1992 in response to the fragile nature of the remaining Big Scrub remnants and the very high conservation value of local, national and international significance. Big Scrub Landcare was incorporated in 1995 and received it first project grant. The group evolved and grew rapidly and now is the largest and most active landcare group in the region with over 300 members.

Big Scrub Landcare facilitates, promotes and participates in the restoration of the Big Scrub which involves:

  • Rehabilitation of remnants mitigating threats;
  • Revegetation of cleared rainforest lands;
  • Restoring the effective functioning of ecological processes within the Big Scrub ecosystem;
  • Maintaining biodiversity including threatened species population and habitats;
  • Enhancing Big Scrub awareness among politicians, relevant government agencies and their people, local government, landholders and the community generally;
  • Generating landholder enthusiasm, skills and commitment by providing information, education materials and demonstrations;
  • Assisting, networking with and taking roles in government and community organisations with key roles in natural resource management;
  • Running effective on-ground restoration projects; Maintaining the highest technical and professional standards, using best science;
  • Conducting events and activities, creating and distributing publications for education/ information/ publicity;
  • Obtaining funding for on-ground projects and other activities


Critically endangered lowland rainforest (EPBC Act) on public and private land at Duck Creek, Alstonville, is threatened by weed infestation including Lantana, Madeira Vine, Climbing Asparagus (all WoNS), Privet, Camphor Laurel and Wandering Jew. The site was part of the Big Scrub lowland rainforest. Ecological restoration implemented by professional bush regenerators will improve connectivity, condition and resilience of lowland rainforest over 7 ha and 760 m of Duck Creek and improve habitat for threatened flora and fauna.

Over six years, his multi-stakeholder project involves: (1) regenerating and improving the ongoing health, resilience and ecological connectivity of 640 hectares of critically endangered lowland rainforest of subtropical Australia, which is habitat for 43 species listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and is home to less than 70 threatened species under the NSW Threatened Species Act ; (2) improving the capacity of and engaging through community plantings the members of Big Scrub Landcare and Bangalow Land and Rivercare, two local community groups whose primary purpose is to undertake environmental works in their local area to protect, restore and enhance the environment; and (3) engaging these members and the broader community and enhancing their knowledge of endangered lowland rainforest, including its unique biodiversity values, its critically endangered status and to motivate them to aid its restoration by caring for remnants and regenerating rainforest on their properties.

This one year (2013-2014) multi-stakeholder project involves controlling weeds, the most immediate threat to the biodiversity and condition of critically endangered Lowland Rainforest of Subtropical Australia (LRSA) at 38 remnants that are priority repair sites in the Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan (BRRBMP). The project implements weed control and a number of other management actions listed in the BRRBMP that will enhance connectivity, the habitat of greater than 70 threatened species and the resilience of LRSA to climate change and other threats. Professional regenerators will do 620 days of weed control and monitoring and evaluation using best practice methodology. The project also involves engaging and educating the community at field days and the Big Scrub Rainforest Day and via our group's publications and website. Running this project will enhance the capacity of Big Scrub Landcare, our partners and other landholders to protect, enhance and restore the environment.

An increase in the number of Big Scrub rainforest remnants under active restoration is being achieved through a process of targeted expansion of existing remnants and/or creation of stepping stone 'patches' from current mixed rainforest/camphor laurel stands in between known remnants. GIS, vegetation mapping and a landholder survey is being used to assist prioritisation of potential sites. Conservation and connectivity value contribution to target and landholder commitment and activity will help determine restoration priorities and site selection. This project provides a cost effective way of improving landscape linkages between the many Big Scrub Rainforest remnants. By prioritising mixed rainforest / camphor laurel stands the resilience of the forest can be utilised initiating an enhanced natural regeneration response and forming regenerating rainforest stands in a cost-effective and proven manner. This will increase the number of stepping stone remnant habitats being actively managed and providing improved linkage for Big Scrub flora and fauna. Improved connectivity should enhance remnant viability prospects under a changing climate. This project will form part of the ongoing rainforest restoration program of the Big Scrub co-ordinated by Big Scrub Landcare and partners which includes a consortium of state agencies i.e. NSW NPWS, Local Councils or statutory bodies ie. Lismore , Byron and Ballina Councils, Rous Water and private landholders.

This multi-stakeholder project is part of Big Scrub Landcare's long-term program to care for remnants of critically endangered lowland rainforest of subtropical Australia (CELRSA). It involves controlling weeds, the most immediate threat to the biodiversity and condition of CELRSA at 51 Big Scrub remnants that are priority repair sites in the Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan. The project implements more than 40 management actions in the BRRBMP that will enhance CELRSA connectivity, habitat of more than 70 threatened species, resilience to climate change and other threats, and community engagement.

This project is contributing to the conservation, protection and restoration of Lowland Rainforest of Subtropical Australia (LRSA), a critically endangered ecological community under the EPBC Act, through: 1. Promoting and engaging with landholders to enter into Voluntary Conservation Agreements with NSW NPWS to permanently protect LRSA remnants; 2. Developing restoration plans for remnants that will guide bush regeneration works; 3. Providing resources necessary to assist volunteers plan, promote and implement the Big Scrub Rainforest Day in 2013 & 2014 (one of the largest annual Landcare community engagement and education events in Australia); 4. Providing resources to engage and train community members via community tree plantings.

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