Restoration of Farmers Creek at Oakey Park

Supporting and increasing community capacity and engagement

Restoration of Farmers Creek at Oakey Park

Supporting and increasing community capacity and engagement

Taking Action -


The issue

Farmers Creek is an urban tributary of the Coxs River catchment, eventually feeding into Sydney’s drinking water supply. The Oakey Park section of Farmers Creek in Lithgow is one of the first parts of the creek to be impacted by the peri urban fringe after it drains from the surrounding bushland hillsides.

A dense monoculture of woody weed trees has modified in-stream temperatures; significantly decreasing aquatic biodiversity. A variety of other invasive plant species have also impacted upon native flora and fauna. This is a significant weed source-point infesting the downstream system, providing a substantial seed load.

The solution

Concerned local residents decided to unite their efforts to address the problem and establish a new Group, with support from Lithgow Oberon Landcare Association, their Landcare Coordinator and local Council.

An inaugural weed identification and control workshop was hosted at the site to train volunteers in best practice woody weed control techniques, herbicide use adjacent to waterways, creekbank stability issues and provide initial skills to the Group. A second working day followed which included overall site planning, weed control works and revegetation. The events were letter-boxed locally and more broadly promoted to help attract interest. Ongoing Group workdays are planned.


The impact

A staged and strategic approach for removing the weeds, re-establishing native vegetation and maintaining creekbank stability has since been developed in order to provide sufficient time for the gradual and progressive recovery of the system.

The new Oakey Park Group has subsequently undertaken restoration work along 500 linear meters of Farmers Creek riparian zone. After the removal of dense Blackberry thickets, jute matting was installed to help stabilise the creekbank, 120 native plants were established, and the Group is well on the way to improving biodiversity and health of the system as a whole.

The efforts of the Group are working consistently within the scope of a newly developed strategic Council initiative (Farmers Creek Masterplan) which addresses riparian area issues throughout the Lithgow Valley.

Key facts

  • Neighbours and community members of Oakey Park have mobilised to tackle weeds and help restore the riparian corridor in their neck of the woods.
  • Working within a strategic best practice approach –the Group is off to a fantastic start with 120 native plants replacing infestations of weeds and stabilising banks.

Project Partners