Pesky Privet Project

Community action on a catchment scale weed

Pesky Privet Project

Community action on a catchment scale weed

Community Participation -


The issue

Privet, both small leaved and broad leaved, is a growing problem in our catchments, threatening the biodiversity and riverbank integrity of many of our riparian areas. The dense thickets it forms, the difficulty of destroying large plants and the enormous seedbank with very high recruitment success make it seem like an overwhelming problem for many landholders. Privet is a major problem for long stretches of the Wallamba, Coolongolook and Karuah River catchments.

The solution

We used a small grant from the Community Environment Program to hold “Pesky Privet Practical” hands-on field days in each of the three worst affected river catchments, featuring veteran bush regenerator and Coolongolook catchment resident Peter Dixon.  4 “Tree Poppers” were purchased to provide another weed removal tool to our members. We selected two public land sites to have contractors start works as demonstration sites. MidCoast Council coordinated with us to multiply the available contractor hours through their Bushcare program. Our field day program was interrupted by Covid lockdowns, but we completed them after lockdowns eased, and produced and uploaded videos on woody weed management.

The impact

The field days showed participants the possibilities for strategically approaching a seemingly insurmountable weed problem. With the help of MidCoast Council, we got contract work started on a couple of highly visible sites as demonstrations of what can be done. Our tree poppers have gone out to work on private properties. Online videos reached a large audience, with help from social media sharing (for example a share by AABR got us a lot of views). This project fed into our Wallamba Bridges Bushcare project, as well as ongoing regen work in the heart of Stroud. In Wootton there are plans brewing for a catchment scale project.


We had better field day turnout on the weekend.

Online videos can help reach larger audiences

Working closely with Council multiplied our direct impact on public sites

Key facts

  • 43 community participants
  • >2500 video views
  • 5 local groups involved
  • 3 field days
  • 4 new Bushcare sites under management

Project Partners