A pulse check for Greater Sydney Landcare

Landcare and Bushcare contributions to the environment and beyond

A pulse check for Greater Sydney Landcare

Landcare and Bushcare contributions to the environment and beyond

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

The contribution that Landcare and Bushcare volunteers make to the environment and society in Greater Sydney is significant. Detailing this contribution with facts and figures is a powerful way of acknowledging the volunteer effort. Moreover, understanding volunteer group needs and how their contribution and needs change over time is valuable information for coordinators, networks and peak bodies such as Landcare NSW.

The solution

The State of Landcare and Bushcare in Greater Sydney is a biennial survey of the region’s Landcare groups, networks and Bushcare programs with data from 2015. With support from the NSW Landcare Program, Greater Sydney Local Land Services recently released the survey results for the 2021/22 financial year. The full report is available here: https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/regions/greater-sydney/community-groups/the-state-of-bushcare-and-landcare-201920

The survey requests data about numbers of volunteers, volunteer hours and type of work the groups engage with. Information about group wellbeing, group challenges and support is also requested.

Importantly, once the survey report is finalised, these results are shared with the community so they can see how their piece of the puzzle fits within the region.

The impact

The survey results tell a powerful story. Data from 34 Bushcare programs, 24 Landcare groups and 6 Landcare networks was captured to reveal:

  • 879 groups and networks engaged in Bushcare and Landcare activities
  • 7,100 regular volunteers
  • 187,000 hours of volunteer work estimated to be worth $7.8 million of in-kind labour
  • 669,000 plants propagated

The survey results illustrate that the benefits of Landcare and Bushcare volunteering include:

  • Conservation
  • Community health and wellbeing
  • Specialist skills
  • Community Education
  • Citizen science

The survey identified a 30% drop in regular volunteer numbers compared with the 2019/20 financial year, yet volunteer hours increased. This demonstrates the commitment of the volunteer population and the persistent challenge of attracting new volunteers. Landcare groups and networks reported that long-term funding and productive partnerships and collaborations would enable them to thrive in the future.

Key facts

  • Surveying the Landcare community is a great way to tell the Landcare story
  • The survey is an effective way of demonstrating volunteer contributions to the environment and society at large
  • The survey shows that Landcare impacts extend beyond conservation