Weeds finder web tool

A self help tool for weed ID and advice

Weeds finder web tool

A self help tool for weed ID and advice

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The issue

A survey(*) of landholders with weed issues recognised that the main barrier to controlling weeds for private landholders is a lack of weed identification skills and knowledge of control methods. There is a lack of practical information freely and readily available for residents to successfully identify and control environmental and garden weed species and confidently restore their gardens to reduce their impacts on bushland and waterways. Past education activities that deliver face to face weed advice have proven successful with high participation and uptake of recommendations however these activities are resource intensive. An online tool will greatly increase the audience and reach of weed control advice throughout the Eurobodalla and surrounding regions (where species information and advice is applicable).

* Survey undertaken by ESC, 2015.

The solution

Development of an online tool which aims to assist Eurobodalla residents (and others!) to identify garden plants with weedy tendencies and empower residents with best practice control advice so that they can effectively treat the weed at the best time of year with the best practice control advice.

The tool was a labour of love for ESC invasive species team before funding was obtained form the NSW Environmental Trust to further test, develop and edit the tool. Landcare has been integral to the testing phase of the tools development with many volunteers involved in the working group offering advice re enhancements and additions.

Simple, user friendly key with characteristics such as leaf shape, flower and fruit colour make it easy for the layman to use. As an online service it allows the user to seek the advice when it is convenient for them and also reduces the amount of phone calls, call outs and potentially incorrect plant purchases.

The impact

The online tool has been developed and tested with a wide audience and several user groups. It incorporates all of the species declared as Prohibited Matter under the NSW Biosecurity Act as well as many species identified as environmental weeds for the local area. The tool can be constantly updated to reflect environmental changes and any emerging species through the use of a purpose built Word Press editing tool with edits made immediately live.

The tool has already had over 2000 unique users since the project commenced accessing the weeds finder over 6500 times! That's a lot of saved phone calls and queries :-)

The project will culminate with the development of bush friendly garden plans and living display beds at the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens which will be constructed with the assistance of the Eurobodalla Friends of the Botanic Gardens and Landcare Volunteers.

Key facts

  • Many residents are not able to identify plant species in their gardens and have plants that are either Declared Biosecurity Matters or Environmental weeds
  • These plants can 'jump the garden fence' and cause issues in neighbouring properties or in the bush

Project Partners