With the majority of land in Australia (and also NSW) being held in private ownership, conservation initiatives on private land are an important adjunct to the public National Park system. Importantly,private land conservation projects can actually improve the resilience and integrity of natural habitats by creating wildlife corridors between National Parks.
Above: Burrawang is “forested mainly in old growth Bangalay Sand Forest with a small section of Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, both Endangered Ecological Communities” says Robin Westcott. Photo: L. Westcott.
The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife recently announced the 2017 recipients of its annual Private Land Conservation Grants program, which is assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
“This year we have awarded over $333,000 in Private Land Conservation Grants right across New South Wales.” said Mr Darbyshire, CEO of the Foundation. “Private land owners have a unique and crucially important role to play in the conservation of our natural heritage”
“By improving the habitat for native species on their properties, landowners can make all or parts of their land into havens for biodiversity—almost mini-national parks, if you will”, said Mr Darbyshire.
“Individuals who manage all or parts of their properties for conservation deserve our recognition and support. They are effectively voluntary park rangers, and provide an incredible contribution to the welfare of Australia’s environment,” Mr Darbyshire added. “The amount of work hours that these landowners put in is really something to applaud.”
“FNPW has a long history of empowering local communities and individuals to take an active role in the protection of our natural resources and environment, distributing over $60 million for the protection and care of Australia’s environment since 1970.” Conservation on private properties can add to the critical wildlife corridors linking up habitats between national parks across the country.Government agencies play an important role in preserving Australia’s unique animals, plants, and ecosystems by reserving and managing land in our national parks. Not-for-profit organisations such as the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife also play their part by funding and managing habitat and wildlife conservation projects. Local Grant Recipients: Robin Westcott of Burrawang in Guerilla Bay is one of 56 individuals and groups who will receive a 2017 Private Land Conservation Grant for outstanding conservation efforts.Robin will receive $3,000 over three years for projects assisting bush regeneration, including weed control. “The Burrawang Coastal Club is very pleased to have been granted ongoing funding of $1000 for each of the next 3 years from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. The Private Land Conservation Grants program will help the group carry out important weed control to protect the natural habitat on our Guerrilla Bay property,” Robin says. Robin’s property has had a rough history of weed infestation. However, with the aid of dedicated Burrawang Coastal Club members, many weeds have been eradicated as a threat or tightly managed. “However, in steep, rocky areas of the property some difficult to control weeds such as turkey rhubarb(Acetosa sagittata) and Brazilian passionfruit (Passiflora caerulea) have defied all our efforts and pose the threat of spreading to the forest.” “We are very grateful for this financial assistance which will be used to pay contractors to spray weeds in these less accessible areas.”Mr Darbyshire said, “The Guerilla Bay property is protected as a Wildlife Refuge with the Office of Environment & Heritage and this grant will help Robin and the Burrawang Coastal Club realise their plans for conservation on their own land.” About the Private Land Conservation Grants: The Private Land Conservation Grants program has been offering grants to owners of properties protected under conservation agreements since 2008.By the end of 2017, the program will have allocated over $2 million to private landowners in New South Wales to support conservation works on their own lands. The NSW Private Land Conservation Grants are administered by the Foundation for National Parks &Wildlife and funded and supported by an alliance of not-for- profits and government agencies including: Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife Major funder: NSW Environmental Trust Community Environment Network Diversicon Environmental Foundation Nature Conservation Trust of NSW NSW Local Land Services NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Paddy Pallin Foundation Wildlife Land Trust To see the full list of this year’s grant recipients, please visit www.fnpw.org.au. Media Release