Backyard Bushcare

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Backyard Bushcare is about making sure that what happens in our backyards protects the natural environment that we all love. It is for anyone with a backyard, but especially for those living in our urban areas.

Did you know that 65% of weed species invading our bushland across Australia started as ordinary garden plants?

A few simple measures can make sure your backyard helps to protect wildlife and the surrounding bushland.

Pacific Palms Backyard Bushcare

Council has received assistance through the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust to run a targeted Backyard Bushcare program in Pacific Palms from 2017-2020. This project will complement current bush regeneration efforts in that area, focusing on garden plants that have escaped our backyards to invade local bushland areas. There will be a range of activities undertaken to assess what plants need to be targeted, to help everyone control them, and promote an appreciation for the Pacific Palms bushland!

Scroll down for more information, and check out the resources section at the end - you can sign up for regular updates straight to your in-box.

A free hands-on workshop designed to show you how to beat environmental weeds in your own garden will kick off on Sunday 26 August at the Pacific Palms markets.

It is often said that one year's seeds means seven years weeds. Gardeners may feel that no sooner have they removed a weed from their garden, a new weed appears to replace it. By choosing the right removal technique and making weed removal part of your gardening routine you are reducing the amount of seed in the ground.

"Weed removal is complex and unfortunately there is no one removal technique that is suitable for all species," says MidCoast Council's Strategic Weeds Biosecurity Officer, Terry Inkson.

Reducing the 'seedbank' will lessen your long term workload and create space for the plants you love to thrive. Come and meet MidCoast Council staff from 9am at the Pacific Palms Markets to get advice on the best technique to beat environmental weeds.

"We will be at Pacific Palms Markets from 9am on Sunday 26 August and will be running two free weed workshops if you'd like a demonstration of weeding techniques that can be applied in backyard gardening."

To get involved, just turn up early at the markets and sign up for one of the sessions, which kick off at 10am and 11.30am. Come prepared with covered shoes so that you can participate.

Come along and meet the friendly team at the Pacific Palms markets on Sunday 26 August - we look forward to seeing you there!

More information: Weed Workshops flyer(PDF, 1MB)

Stage 1: Late 2017/ early 2018
  • Collect baseline data and figure out what we’re dealing with in terms of bush-invading backyard weeds; and find out what the Pacific Palms community wants from their gardens.
  • Information stall at the Pacific Palms Markets on local weeds and bushland friendly gardens
  • Enter our community survey (see the page section below) and be in the draw for a great prize! Survey closes 25 February, winner of the bushland friendly garden prize pack will be announced 1 March 2018.
  • Backyard weed checks for properties of Blueys, Boomerang and Elizabeth Beaches and some of Charlotte Bay (The Lakes Way properties). If this is you, look out for more information in the mail in January.  Results of the weed check will be collated and shared with the community.
Stage 2: 2018-1209 – Get stuck into making our gardens more bushland friendly
  • Council will be focusing on our own backyard and doing even more weed control on public land. However, 65% of weed invasions start in backyards, so to have thriving bushland into the future we need everyone to be getting the bush invaders out of their backyards too.
  • There will be public workshops, field days and fun events around learning more about our beautiful local bushland and making backyards more bushland friendly. If you have an idea for an event that you would like to attend, please let us know!
  • Sign up to our e-newsletter here and be the first to receive updates and information on what’s happening, plus some bushland friendly gardening tips.
Stage 3: Concludes April 2020 – Wrap it up and see how we went
  • We will check back with you to see if we have reduced the amount of backyard weeds in Pacific Palms.

‘Backyard Bushcare in Pacific Palms’ is a very targeted program where we work closely with the members of that community to address invasive plants specific to their local bushland.

Pacific Palms has been chosen for the current round of Backyard Bushcare because it is nestled in spectacular bushland, with a lot of work being done by local volunteers as well as Council bush regenerators and National Parks to get the weeds out. They're having great results, and Backyard Bushcare can significantly help them out. Pacific Palms Backyard Bushcare has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

Backyard Bushcare was first started by the former Great Lakes Council in 2011, and has been run in varying forms in Seal Rocks, South Forster, and Hawks Nest. Future rounds of Backyard Bushcare will be dependent on funding availability.

Yes! Anything you do to make your property more bushland friendly is Backyard Bushcare. Here are some things you can do:

  • Remove any plants that have the potential to invade bushland. Not sure what they might be? A great starting point is this resource:
    Garden Escapees(PDF, 18MB). Contact us if you need any help identifying plants!

  • Shut your cat in at night to protect local wildlife.

  • Place green waste like weeds, lawn clippings and shrub prunings in your green waste bin or in your compost. Berries, seeds and tubers should go in the red bin. Green waste should not go in the gutter, and it definitely shouldn’t be piled in bushland. Lots of weed infestations have started this way.

  • Leave water out for wildlife, particularly in hot weather.

  • Create habitat in your garden with a selection of native plants. Adding things like mulch, rocks, hollow logs, and tree nesting boxes can give homes for even more animals! We like this design for small bird habitat from the Habitat Network!

  • Sign up to Council’s e-newsletter Creek to Coast  to keep update with all our information, new projects, workshops and more!

Show your commitment to restoring the natural beauty and bushland of the Pacific Palms and support the Backyard Bushcare initiative.

By taking the pledge yourself on this link, you share your commitment, and by sharing on social media, you encourage others to find out more and join us!

Take the pledge

Register for regular updates on Pacific Palms Bushcare!

Straight to your inbox:

  • be the first to know about Backyard Bushcare events

  • updates on Pacific Palms Backyard Bushcare,

  • tips for controlling environmental weeds,

  • building beautiful  bushland friendly gardens

  • sign up here for our Pacific Palms Backyard Bushcare e-updates

Helpful resources: