Conservation of "Sutton Reserve"

Sutton Landcare recognised early on that there was a significant conservation risk hanging over the Crown Land area just east of Sutton Public School. The land comprises a bio-diverse remnant of Yellow Box/Red Gum grassy woodland.

It is of high conservation value as it contains a real diversity of floral species, features structural complexity and connectivity, and provides the habitats for threatened animal species believed to frequent this area - including migratory honeyeaters, insectivorous woodland birds, small reptiles and insects.   Rainer Rehwinkel assessed this land in 2007 as one of the best of type in the region, and identified more than 250 species of native plants at the site.  Since 2000 Sutton Landcare has held several working bees to remove rubbish and noxious weeds from the site.  Included is spraying Serrated Tussock and trial release of mites to control St John’s Wort.

In simple terms, the threat is the potential for livestock grazing, seeing that some of the site is subject to permissive occupancy leasing.  

On several occasions Sutton Landcare has approached the NSW Government seeking conservation management and protection of this site, but without success.  Feedback from Government in 2011 acknowledged the merit of the proposal to conserve the site but pointed out that the land in question is now subject to several claims under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act.  A 2019 request to Crown Lands to work on the site was rejected, as some of the land is privately leased. The Sutton Landcare Group will keep trying to get permission to work on the site, and to get it preserved as “Sutton Village Woodland Reserve”, both for the species that use the site, and for the local residents to enjoy.