Who are we?
The group is a diverse cross section of dedicated volunteers involved in a range of activities centred around Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve. They enjoy the social interaction, learning more about this unique karst reserve as well as working together to improve this valuable natural asset.

Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve is 175km west of Sydney and forms an integral part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area adjacent to Kanangra-Boyd National Park. This iconic site is a popular tourist destination, attracting more than 250 000 visitors each year.

Group history
In 2006 Landcare group representatives met with agency staff and the local Landcare Association (Lithgow Oberon) to discuss how to coordinate the expansion of weed management and volunteer initiatives at Jenolan Caves, with a particular focus on regular sycamore control. In-kind assistance was secured by the Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust in the form of staff support and accommodation, with NPWS staff supporting the initiative. The word was put out, the volunteers flocked in and the Sycamore War was born. To date, nine successful volunteer training weekends have been held with 25 participants attending each event.

Initially spreading from individual ornamental specimens planted over 100 years ago, the expanding infestation of sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) now covers nearly 50 hectares of the reserve. There are also a number of cold-climate weeds steadily spreading from the visitor precinct into healthy native bushland, reducing biodiversity values, decreasing habitat for native species and competing with native flora. 

What do we do?
The Landcare group visits Jenolan four times a year, working over an entire weekend to treat cold-climate garden escapees, mainly sycamore maple trees as well as a few other exotic species. The work involves bush regeneration and targeted weeding, using cordless drills to stem-inject trees, or the cut and paint/scrape and paint method for woody shrubs and vines. A barbecue dinner is held on the Saturday night as well as an evening activity such as a cave tour or a spotlight walk.

Site objectives

  • bushland regeneration
  • protection of threatened species habitat
  • protection of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Site issues

  • weed invasion
  • reduction in biodiversity
  • threat to World Heritage Area values

When do we meet?
The Landcare group meets twice in spring and twice again each autumn. Full training and tools are provided. Numbers are capped so bookings are essential.

(Information courtesy of the Office of Environment and Heritage)

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