Shoalhaven Champions

Southern Shoalhaven Champions of the Catchment Landcare Awards – WINNERS

Champions of the Catchment Awards evening - Shoalhaven









Max Boyd     

Max Boyd’s project involved the construction of a series of fences in very difficult terrain and installation of off – stream watering to protect 4.24Ha of remnant Coastal Warm Temperate Rainforest from grazing by cattle and sheep.

This is a particularly environmentally valuable area of remnant rainforest.  This area provides a link between other significant ecological communities such as Southern Turpentine Forest, South Coast Grassy Woodland and Subtropical Complex Rainforest.

In addition, this area links with Yatte Yattah Nature Reserve.  Yatte Yattah Nature Reserve’s ecological community, also identified as Milton Ulladulla Subtropical Rainforest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion, is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community. The project works include the installation of off-stream watering supply for stock.

Max is also a member of Milton Rural Landcare Group and is a regular attendee at many NRM training days and workshops. Max’s open mind, coupled with a wealth of experience is evident in how he manages his patch in the landscape and the value he places on biodiversity.
Max’s cooperation and enthusiasm, including the time volunteered to implement this project was passed on to the GreenCorps team that carried out their on-ground training on his property.
Future: With the assistance of Milton Rural Landcare the project site will be monitored using spatial information technology, and data on flora and fauna species will be recorded to assess the value of the project to biodiversity and improvements to the landscape.

Milton Rural Landcare Group

Milton Rural Landcare is a voluntary organisation whose aim it is to protect and/or enhance the natural environment and promote all aspects of sustainability.  The group membership now averages 80+ and has been under the stewardship of Carolyn and Malcolm Whan since its inception in 1998.

Activities are centred around a Native Plant Nursery, located in the council compound – Deering St, Ulladulla, opened every Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Here volunteers propagate plants from stock collected locally that are used to support projects on local farms, national parks, council and other reserves as well as local gardens. They operate a provenance system with our stock.
In recent years, Milton Rural Landcare have been focussed on “Mapping the Shoalhaven” in partnership with Intergraph and the Southern Rivers CMA among others.  This project aims to train and educate members of the general public in the use of relevant spatial information systems to monitor change and contribute to improving environmental management in our area.  The program will primarily focus on environmental issues with Shoalhaven Landcare Inc and involves local high schools, university research and support, industry technical support, local Council, the Catchment Management Authority and other government agencies. Engaging cooperative Landcare groups both facilitates data collection as well as exposing us to a variety of issues of concern/interest. This illustrates that the interactions between people representing different interests are a key to effective landscape management. Data collection and education are concurrent processes needing to update and inform each other as new information becomes available.

They have helped the Ulladulla Aboriginal Land Council undertake works that improve the environment and promote understanding of Koori culture.   For three years they ran natural fibre basket making workshops in different techniques with the support of Jim Wallis.  Elder Fred Carriage always gives a walk for the Green Corps teams along the Coomee Nulunga Cultural Track to explain bush tucker.  The Budamurra Aboriginal Corporation has supported the making of a film with a Green Corps Team supported by Tom Avery
The Milton area also has many pristine rivers and creeks including the Clyde River that need to be protected as well as pockets of remnant rainforest and wetlands. The ‘Mountains to the Sea’ project links the Narrawallee catchment by encouraging landholders repairing riparian zones along Yackungarrah, Narrawallee & Croobyar creek lines, engaging with weeding, planting and fencing activities.  They worked with NPWS officers to protect Yatte Yattah Nature Reserve and conduct the annual ‘Bat’ count for five years, with NANA giving education about Flying Foxes.

Future goals include improved training materials, improved ground-truthing and access to mapped information to ensure our unique animals and plants are protected in the midst of a 30% increase in population over the next decade, improved revegetation practices including closer planting of more plant species site specific, and a healthier, happier community.   The group has been involved with the planning and development of the Milton Corridors Project Plan that will feed into the updated Southern Rivers Catchment Action Plan.
It is hard to picture Milton/Ulladulla without Milton Rural Landcare.
Their achievements to date include:

  • A coordinated fox trapping program that has significantly reduced fox numbers in the Milton area;
  • Helped farmers fence native forest remnants within the Narrawallee, Conjola and Clyde River catchments;
  • Operating a non-profit native nursery to encourage landowners to revegetate and replace weeds with plants grown from local seed;
  • Running a native exchange program where community members are encouraged to remove pest species in exchange for a native plant.
  • The publication of a training booklet called ‘Locals are Lovely’ which provides instruction on seed collection, propagation and planting techniques,
  • Supervision and training of five Green Corp teams.
  • Supervision and training of seven ‘Work for the Dole’ teams through YWCA;
  • The planting of numerous trees and removal of mountains of weeds;
  • The creation of native bush tucker gardens in local schools;
  • The initiation of the Clyde River Project that has subsequently resulted in a coordinated investment in the Clyde River catchment from numerous agencies, industry groups, landholders and community;
  • The installation of numerous off-stream cattle watering systems and fencing thereby removing cattle from over 4 km of Clyde River foreshore;
  • Production of play by youth performed at local shows and schools, and a booklet to educate children about Myna Birds and other pest animals.

South Coast Shorebird Recovery

The South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program was established in 1999 by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to reduce the rate of decline of threatened shorebirds and recover populations by enhancing breeding success.

Outcomes for the environment

  • Public awareness has been raised by installing interpretive signs at key shorebird locations, the production of posters and brochures, newsletter and newspaper articles, public talks, conference presentations, radio and television interviews.
  • Stationing volunteer wardens at key sites and installing temporary fencing has reduced human disturbance.
  • Protection from native and introduced predators has been attempted by installing electric fences and predator exclusion cages around nests and controlling foxes.
  • A comprehensive monitoring program has been established.
  • Valuable information on the ecology of shorebirds and expertise in shorebird management has been gained.

Outcomes for participants

  • The NPWS, with the help of volunteers, has achieved more for shorebird conservation than it could have on its own.
  • Volunteers have gained a wide range of skills including field skills, construction and maintenance skills and planning, communication and negotiation skills by being involved with this project.
  • A useful exchange of information and ideas has developed between volunteers, the NPWS and others involved in shorebird conservation both in Australia and overseas.

Measures of success

  • The regular monitoring of shorebird numbers and nesting success has enabled the project to evaluate its past management activities. Some of the key conservation outcomes of the project include:
  • Increased numbers of eggs, chicks and fledglings of pied oystercatchers, hooded plovers, and little terns following management actions.
  • Birds have successfully bred and fledged young on busy and heavily used beaches following careful management.
  • Reasons for nest failure were able to be accurately determined in most cases.
  • A number of scientific documents based on the findings of the project have been published, indicating the quality and importance of the data obtained.

Future Directions

  • Continued evolution of management actions and strategies as required.
  • Continued expansion of the project and provision of adequate staffing and funding.
  • Jo Lane, Lucy Gibson, Robyn Kesby and Amy Harris- NPWS Coordinators of the project.

Uncle Fred Carriage – Ulladulla Aboriginal Land Council       

Fred Carriage is an elder of the Murramarang People, who are the original people of the Ulladulla- Milton area. He has also been a member of the Ulladulla Aboriginal Land Council for 24 years and has been the Chair of the Land Council for the past 8 years.

Fred has a strong traditional connection and knowledge of his country and believes in sharing this connection and knowledge with others. This is way Uncle Fred spends a lot of his time teaching others about Aboriginal cultural knowledge and links to the land and sea. Uncle Fred does this by leading tours for everyone around the Warden Head area educating others about how the original people used the area and what the traditional cultural uses of the areas plant and animal where and their significance.

Uncle Fred has also gone out to pre-school’s, primary schools and high schools to teach the younger generations about what links the Murramarang People have to the area and how they have  traditionally managed  the land and sea and what those connections mean to his people today.
Uncle Fred is also asked to talk to many local organisations and interest groups in the region and has welcome to country on Australia Day for the past 10 years. Uncle Fred is a great believer in passing on and sharing traditional and contemporary indigenous knowledge to all generations and for this he is a champion of the catchment.

Bawley Point/Kioloa Bushcare Group

The Bawley Point/Kioloa Bushcare Group was originally formed back in 1996 to plant some more shade trees in the reserve backing onto Bawley Beach in the northern end of the Bawley Point Village. The Bushcare Group undertook this project and went into a quite period where not much activity was done.

In 2002 the Bushcare Group was awoken from its slumber by two very determined women named Sybille Davidson and Barbara White who decided that many of the natural treasures that make the villages of Bawley Point and Kioloa such a great place to live were under threat from mismanagement and lack of care.

From this the Bawley Point/Kioloa Bushcare was re-born and they started on looking and dealing with the large areas of exotic weed infestations that had inhabited many of the wetlands, headlands and beaches of both villages and the problems of people dumping garden waste and cutting down foreshore vegetation to enhance views. The Bushcare Group worked with Shoalhaven City Council to develop a plan to tackle these problems and works began on some key sites which included O’Hara Headland, Gannet Beach and Cormorant Beach Wetland.

In 2008 the Bushcare Group in cooperation  with cooperation with Shoalhaven Council were successful in securing a $22,000 grant from the Australian Envirofund Program to assist them to control and remove weeds such as Mother of Millions, Madeira Vine, Ground Asparagus Fern and Honeysuckle from the headlands, beaches and wetland within and surrounding villages. This work was then follow up with the planting of over 2,000 grasses, shrubs and trees to improve the areas biodiversity.

The Bawley Point/Kioloa Bushcare Group have also been the leaders in coordinating  a  weed control program within and surrounding the villages of Bawley Point and Kioloa in cooperation with private landholders, NSW Land and Property Management Authority, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Shoalhaven Council. The Bushcare Group have been targeting African Eklonii, a native Lily of South-West Africa, undertaking control across all land tenures including roadside control.

Members of the Bawley Point/Kioloa Bushcare Group have also been involved in other natural resource management projects in their region including the South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program, GIS mapping of environmental assets, education projects through the Australian National University field studies centre and the Milton Rural Landcare Community Nursery.

Arthur Pulford – Narrawallee Bushcare Group

Arthur Pulford has been an active member of the Narrawallee Bushcare Group for over twenty years, since this time Arthur has contributed over 5,000 volunteer hours to the rehabilitation of the bushland in and surrounding the Narrawallee Beach and its estuary. Arthur is a great believer that actions speak louder than words and would rather get stuck into solving a problem then stand around talking about it.

Arthur’s tireless energy has helped keep the spirit of the Narrawallee Bushcare Group strong and has helped the group rehabilitate over 95 hectares of remnant bushland on and surrounding Narrawallee beach and estuary. This has included 11 hectares of degraded Bangalay Sand Forest, which is classed as an Endangered Ecological Community in NSW.

Arthur is also a very a innovative individual who has lead the way with trailing new methods of controlling different weed species and stimulating regeneration of different plant communities. Although into his 80’s Arthur is often seen windsurfing around Narrawallee and riding his bike far and wide.

Arthur is young at heart and is the mortar that keeps together the Narrawallee Bushcare Group.