Since 1996 Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group Inc. have been supporting the local community in the Araluen Valley and surrounds. The catchment feeds into the Deua river system flowing down to Moruya on the South Coast. The Valley has a unique history, industry, geography and climate - with extensive gold mining, steep mountains and a soft alluvial valley floor. The conditions are great for cropping, grazing and well renowned for growing peaches, but readily prone to erosion and fragile waterways. For over 25 years the group have championed riparian restoration, particularly along the Araluen Creek and it's tributaries.

About the Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group

The Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group Inc. was formed in 1996. The group started out with the purchase of aerial photographs of the area from Mericumbene in the south, to the Majors Creek escarpment in the upper reaches of the Araluen Valley. Our purpose was to identify areas of erosion, weed infestations and rectifying water quality issues. The Araluen Valley was extremely disturbed with the discovery of gold in 1851. Dredges worked the area for many decades, turning the valley over in search of fortune, leaving behind an environmental disaster.

In the past 27 years the group has been extremely active and successfully undertaken a series of major projects to repair damage with outstanding results. Members have efficiently managed these community projects utilising funding from a variety of sources.

In 2007 the group was awarded the Champion of the Catchment in recognition of outstanding results achieved in stabilization of the creek bed. A system of bedlog constructions (sills) utilizing 200 logs at 16 sites were strategically positioned and anchored in place - slowing the flow, creating in stream ponding, increasing biodiversity and improving water quality and quantity.

Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group Major Projects 1996 – current:

Watch it Now: Araluen Creek Restoration Project Film has Launched!

The film is produced by local award-winning documentary filmmaker Clare Young and her team and captures the local Araluen community connecting up to oversee a big project to stabilise the Araluen Creek – a shared environmental resource – that is the lifeblood of the Valley. At its heart the video tells the story of how local communities can work together to bring about positive change to build community and environmental resilience in the face of a changing climate.

The UDCLG mission for riparian restoration:

  • Stabilise the creek stream bed by controlling sediment movement
  • Reduce erosion pressures on the streambed and banks by removing debris blockages that divert the stream
  • Improve water quality, environmental health of the stream and increase ponding within the system
  • Improve biodiversity including increase of fish passage and native water-based plants
  • Reduce riparian weeds especially woody exotics including broom, blackberry, privet, seeding willows and the more recent invaders; St John’s Wort, African lovegrass and Madera Vine.
  • Revegetate and regenerate degraded locations

This area was badly impacted in the Black Summer Bushfires leaving a trail of destruction through the local environment. Post fire the environmental damage was pure devastation. With many significant flooding events to follow, we had a huge challenge ahead, hence the importance of the latest Araluen Creek Restoration Project.

Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group members and workshop participants in May 2022. Photo C Harrison

Current UDCLG Executive:

President: Tony Peters

Secretary: Penny Hayman

Treasurer: Robyn Clubb

Vice President: Helen Waddell

Araluen Creek Restoration Project & Re-vegetation Information

Cath Harrison


Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group Inc membership is $2 annually or $5 for 3 years. Contact Treasurer, Robyn Clubb to apply at

Acknowledgement of Country

The Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group Inc. would like to acknowledge the land we live and work on, the Country of the Dhurga Language Group known as Yuin.  We acknowledge the traditional owners and original Landcarers, and pay our respects to elder’s past, present and emerging, as well as the first nations people, culture and values that have nurtured this land for thousands of years.  We hope to continue to learn and support this practice.


In May 2021, Upper Deua Catchment Landcare embarked on a large-scale erosion control project along the Araluen Creek. This page provides a summary of all the key documents and steps taken by the group to complete the project - from engaging landholders and project officers, to conducting a Review of Environmental Factors, as well as the relevant grant and funding agreements.

Cath Harrison was employed as the Upper Deua Landcare Community Liaison Officer. She was engaged by the Committee to support project delivery on the ground. This role involved producing the monthly newsletters, liaising with stakeholders, preparing media releases and in general keeping on top of all aspects of the project.

A key component of the Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group’s (UDCLG) Araluen Creek Restoration Project is controlling weeds and a Weed Management Plan was prepared in 2021. The survey assessed weeds along the Araluen Creek riparian zone from Bridge to Bridge (refer map below). This included presence, abundance, and classification of weed species within individual properties. Ninety-one sites were assessed. The report included recommendations for eradication, control and remediation of the various weeds.

In the early months of the project, Upper Deua Catchment Landcare reached out to the Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council - the umbrella group which offers support to Landcare groups across the district - seeking support to deliver some of the community engagement aspects of the project.

In October 2023, Upper Deua Catchment Landcare engaged a 3-man team from Apical to spend 4 days in the Araluen Valley working on weed control on private properties. UDCLG subsidised the work on a $/$ basis, offering landholders Apical's services for either a half or full day. The work was completed with a significant positive response from all landowners involved, with appreciation for both the professional approach of the Apical team and also the pertinent site-by-site feedback received. The below provides a run sheet or summary of the weed control measures undertaken at each site as part of the project.

The Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council (USLC) welcomed the opportunity to work with Upper Deua Catchment Landcare on this project, engaging three project officers over the course of the project.

UDCLG’s 2020 application to the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund was successful and the group received $290,000 to implement sediment control strategies in the Araluen Creek below the Neringla Bridge to its confluence with the Deua River. The lengthy drought, extreme bushfires and sixteen major flooding events in the past 3 years had created such high levels of damage that only major efforts could be employed to stabilise the Araluen Creek and its tributaries.

This project focused on 13 sites along the Araluen Creek and it's tributaries, with each site needing special erosion control measures. From paddock head-cuts, to bank blow-outs, washed out creek crossings and fallen trees - the following provides a summary of each site, as well as some before and after pictures of the earthworks and structures installed.

The Araluen Valley catchment is a unique and dynamic environment. Upper Deua Landcare aim to increase understanding of the area and implement strategies and works that support the installation of erosion controls, management of weed infestations and the rehabilitation of degraded areas due to bushfire and severe flooding. The in-stream works undertaken will support the creek into the future and ensure the Valley is in good condition to meet some of the undoubted challenges that climate change will throw at us.

The project was initiated after the 2019-20 bushfires burnt around the Araluen Valley. Upper Deua Catchment Landcare Group obtained the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience grant in May 2021. However, Covid-19, several severe rain events, floods and landslides meant delay after delay. Three years later, we are all very relieved with the successful completion of the project.

Download group KML