When garden plants turn bad

When garden plants turn bad: Environmental weeds of the Byron Shire

When garden plants turn bad

When garden plants turn bad: Environmental weeds of the Byron Shire

Making a Difference -


The issue

Byron Shire has an increasing number of tree changers who move here and have no knowledge or experience with local species or land management. As a result, many residents are unwhittingly harbouring weeds in their urban gardens which go on to become garden escapees and invade our bushland and agricultural areas.

The solution

Brunswick Valley Landcare's (BVL) Josie Banens applied to again participate in the second phase of Landcare NSW Managing Established Pest Animals and Weeds Project (facilitated by the NSW Department of Primary Industries) and was successful in receiving funding to undertake two additional practical, skills-based invasive species management field days targeting urban residents in the Byron Shire and surrounding region.

These events focused on educating urban residents about identifying and controlling garden escapees, the impact of weeds on biodiversity, and promoting the NSW DPI WeedWise program.Byron Shire Council Bush Regeneration team and local Bush Regenerator Rochelle Merdith to provide expert advice and lead the walks.

The field days were held at two weed-infested public reserves in the Byron Shire. The first at a Council-managed site adjacent to the Brunswick River in Mullumbimby - which also contains threatened species. The second field day was at a site between Byron Creek and Deakon St in Bangalow.

A range of urban and peri-urban residents participated, learning about identification and best-practice control of common garden-escapee weeds including Madeira Vine (Anredra cordifolia), Golden Raintree (Koelreuteria elegans), Whisky Grass (Andropogon virginicus), Ground Asparagus (Asparagus aethiopicus), Camphor Laurel (Cinnnamomum camphorae), Lantana (Lantana camara), Micky Mouse Plant (Ochna serrulate), Broad-leaf Paspalum (Paspalum mandiocanum), Senna (Senna pendula var. glabrata), Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia elegans). Participants were provided with several resources containing information about identifying, controlling and replacing environmental weeds, and landholder biosecurity duties.

The impact

Participants from the field days – many with large landholdings - were eager to learn to identify and control environmental weeds, and provided lots of positive feedback about the speakers following both events. The majority of participants said they increased their knowledge of and confidence to undertake invasive species management following the field days. This project has been successful in that we were able to both cater to the interests of the local landholders as well as Byron Shire Council, promoting best-practice integrated weed management while promoting the efforts of Council and private Bush Regenerator’s who are actively fighting the war against garden weeds.

Key facts

  • Delivered two practical skills-based field days to educate local residents about identification, impact and best practice management of garden-escapees.
  • More than 40 people registered their interest in attending the events
  • The following weed books were distributed to all participants: Weed Control Handbook (NSW DPI), Weeds of the North Coast of NSW (Coffs Harbour Regional Landcare) and Environmental Weeds and Native Alternatives (City of Gold Coast) as well as information about the WeedWise app and No Space for Weeeeeds campaign

Project Partners