Rainforest Education

Empowering volunteers to better manage areas of littoral rainforest

Rainforest Education

Empowering volunteers to better manage areas of littoral rainforest

Capacity to Deliver -

LEP 026 002

The issue

The Manning Coastcare Group network includes six active groups working in coastal vegetation on public land between Harrington and Hallidays Point on the NSW midcoast. All of these groups work on sites that include areas of littoral rainforest. Due to littoral rainforest being classified as an EEC (endangered ecological community), and the ongoing threats from development, weed infestation, fragmentation and climate change/ sea level rise, its restoration is a big focus for the Manning Coastcare groups. The proper protection and restoration of littoral rainforest, however, is a fairly specialised undertaking and so the appropriate education of our volunteers has become a focus of Manning Coastcare.

The solution

The first in a series of rainforest-specific educational workshops was a rainforest plant ID workshop with Dr Bill McDonald on 24th March 2024. Bill is the co-author of many great rainforest plant ID books, as well as the Rainforest Plants of Australia desktop and phone aps, and has a wealth of knowledge. The workshop started with a walk through the rainforest at Red Head peninsula, followed by an indoors session at Black Head surf club, going through the basics of plant ID, and using the ID key in the Rainforest Plants of Australia ap. 

The impact

21 Manning Coastcare volunteers attended the workshop, and generally gave great feedback. There was a lot of interest in learning more about the rainforests of our area, particularly going more in depth regarding scientific and ecological understanding. This great response has shown that we're on the right track with undertaking more in-depth workshops, especially around littoral rainforest and its restoration. It can be easy to dismiss our Landcare/ Coastcare members as "just volunteers", but there's often a great hunger for knowledge, and they represent huge potential for education and advocacy within the community.

Key facts

  • 21 Coastcare volunteers attended a workshop on rainforest plant ID
  • There's a great deal of interest in more in-depth scientific and ecological learning