Conserving native plants – have your say

By Heather Miles


In developing our 5 year strategy, many people expressed an interest in increasing our focus on conservation. Conserving native plants has always been a core objectives of APS NSW.

As ‘conservation’ is such a broad topic, and there are many paths we can take, we included a short survey in the last eNewsletter to APS members to get some views on the direction we might take.

Findings from survey – Conserving native plants

43 responses

Details of conservation activities

On the ground initiatives 
  • Our group is to propagate plants for use in the Wyangala to Kanangra corridor of the GER (Great Eastern Ranges) – 3000 tube-stock; we are also presenting workshops on propagation, basic eucalypt identification to landcare ,members from the area
  • Re-establishing endemic ESBS heathlands
  • Working as a volunteer with both local NPWS and Council to collect seed, propagate, regenerate and rehabilitate bushland
  • Integral part of Milton Rural Landcare nursery in Ulladulla. As part of Saving our Species initialised 4 years ago, this project is now winding up. MRL has been a contributor since its funding first appeared, supplying rainforest, dryland on monzonite for conductivity of corridors. The landholders that participated are few unfortunately but over the years, there has been more plantings on rural blocks than before. Unfortunately, for some landholders, the 2019/20 bushfires did so much damage and our seed supply has dried up. We are helping out with the conservation of Eurobodalla koalas, reveging landholders’ properties by supplying ‘koala’ plants. This latest is still in its infancy so we look forward to helping out. MRL does not have a workforce like other landcare groups however we do put the call out and have quite a rollup of volunteers.
  • Bush regeneration on Bungan Beach 2106
  • 28 years Bushcare on Mt Gibraltar. Removal of willows team Wingecarribee River Involved in a community action opposing removal 249 trees at Frensham School, including original vegetation (plus old pines long undisturbed) to save a wildlife colony in slated Wingecarribee Shire Council Wildlife Corridor /Category 1 riparian Zone Nattai River – Wingecarribee Shire
  • Participating in a couple of local bushcare groups and NPWS activities (e.g. Scotch Broom removal in Barrington Tops NP). These activities are helping to protect the native flora in these areas including some threatened species
  • Bushland restoration Woollahra Council. Threatened species Acacia terminalis ssp east sydney and Syzigium paniculatum
  • Various with work, volunteer Bushcare, Friends of Berowra Valley
  • Conservation of native forest Midnorth Coast near Booral
  • Surveying areas for plants (especially threatened) and recording on Bionet or INaturalist. Under the Landcare banner we propagate plants for National Tree day and other projects
  • Participating in GER project in close by region
  • Local bush care group and propagating local endemics for regen work
  • Volunteer in bush care group
  • I am giving presentations on the value of bushcare to Rotary member
  • A small team within the Northern Beaches Group has started a conservation project committed to saving, and perhaps enhancing the future prospects of, the critically endangered Prostanthera marifolia.
Private property
  • Protecting plants growing on our property, and collecting seed to propagate new plants
  • Two properties protecting several EEC and other woodlands/forests communities. Reconstruction through revegetation and habitat restoration feature on both
  • We have a VCA of 65.92 Ha, protecting Purple Copper Butterflies & their habitat, 26 species of frog, 35 terrestrial orchids and numerous other wild species of plants and animals, and rather a lot of introduced weeds
  • Own property
  • Forests on our property in Reidsdale were badly damaged by fire in 2019-2020. We’re working first on manual weed eradication. Then identifying native species that we can potentially propagate to assist regrowth
  • Choosing natives for courtyard and balcony gardens.
  • Growing only Sydney Basin plants to where they are self propagating
Member of or donor to conservation organisations
  • Landcare
  • Landcare Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia
  • Member of NCC and ACF and support their activities. For more than 20 years I have been a financial supporter and volunteer with Australian Bush Heritage
  • Donating to causes, Bush Heritage, Stop the Dam Wall, NPA, Foundation for NPs, Colong Foundation. Signing petitions circulated by these organisations and occasionally sending short protest submissions on different issues that they alert us to.
  • I am an active member of Australian Conservation Foundation. I attend monthly meetings and events
  • Belong to two conservation groups. I write submissions on the issues they advocate
  • Local Landcare activities, signing petitions/writing letters

Any other comments or suggestions?

20 responses

  • I also think it would be great to support members and groups who would like to pursue on-ground projects
  • I think it is important to recognise that there are quite a few organisations dedicated to conservation objectives who have more skills and resources than APS. We should be supporting campaigns initiated by others and not trying to set off on our own.
  • More articles and/or photos of endangered species to educate members about them. Members can be encouraged to provide these.
  • Encourage Groups embarking on conservation projects to liaise with their Local Council and the appropriate State Government departments.
  • As I could only choose one above I would also like to say that advocacy should go hand in hand with on the ground activities
  • I couldn’t put more than one option for the above. Many groups do not have the expertise for submission writing and it is important if money is being rolled out that all organisations get to have slice and submission writing is helpful. But district group NEED the backing of the higher authority.
  • All the above concepts have merit. Funding is a very minor issue which is generally covered by a range of commonwealth & state organisations. Sharing information, successes & failures and facilitating member involvement is a great engagement opportunity.
  • Our local community action group invited Southern Highlands District Group (SHAPS) to sign up as supporter of the action to prevent Frensham School clearing 4.2ha of undisturbed bush. The committee voted to become involved. APS has a strong voice and is a widely respected ‘brand’. Having their support has added considerable strength to our cause. Also, in attempts to get more natives into public and private gardens, SHAPS provides a great reference point.
  • I think that APS NSW should support district groups doing plant surveys in their local areas. Within the members of the society there is a fair amount of expertise and this could be leveraged to assist the local land managers (councils, NPWS) in understanding the state of the flora in their local area.
  • Educate the general public about provenance and indigenous Plants and the role of creating habitat where there is none. Help to create resilience in wild populations but not dilute by incidental cross breeding. Urban bushland and increased clearing needs to be planned.
  • Promote weed clearance along main roads as a whole of community building activity, eg privet & cotoneaster in the Blue Mountains, replace with waratah, and other native shrubs
  • Field days in conserved areas allow for personal interaction with biodiversity
  • Working with other organisations seems like a good way to get started figuring how APS would fit into plant conservation.
  • There is only one APS but there are a lot of conservation groups. Without the work of SGAP, APS over the years there wouldn’t be the appreciation of our wonderful native flora.
  • I am already so impressed by the work you do, and grateful to be in contact with so many knowledgeable and dedicated people. Thank you.
  • I’m disappointed that only one option could be picked regarding focus. I would have liked to select 2-3
  • None of the above activities have to be either/or
  • APS could consider campaigning against broad scale land clearing
  • Being a ‘voice’ for conservation of native vegetation is essential, but most effectively done in cooperation with other conservation groups

In addition, a number of people volunteered to assist in defining the direction for APS NSW in the area of conservation.