What do people involved in Landcare do?
You have heard the name Landcare, and know the caring hands logo – but what is Landcare?
Farmers and conservationists came together in 1989 to form the national Landcare program with a purpose to help protect the landscape for future generations.
And three decades later, Landcare has evolved into a movement of over 6,000 groups and hundreds of thousands of volunteers across rural and urban Australia, all playing a central role in sustainable agricultural practices and conservation activities, while also developing and enhancing community spirit.
Every day, there are people actively caring for their local environment in so many ways. Here is a list of 30 things they do…
- Plant native trees, shrubs and grasses to create habitat for native animals to improve biodiversity
- Landholders and farmers care for the soils on their property to help prevent salinity and erosion
- Where possible, landholders and farmers use energy and water-usage efficiencies, such as farming effluent recycling, sediment control and solar panel installation
- Get the community involved in restoring and protecting the local environment in their community, with planting days, weed and rubbish removal, installing bird nesting boxes and so much more.
- Grow community resilience to respond to disasters like drought, flood and fire – landcare groups support farmers and land managers so they are not working in isolation in caring for the environment on their property.
- Organise volunteers in the community to come together and help resolve local environmental issues – and work in partnership with local councils, natural resource management agencies, farming groups, business and industry and researchers
- Landcare farmers engage in sustainable agriculture practices to help maintain food security and care for the natural environment on their property
- Design and lead adventurous Intrepid Landcare projects which enable young people to connect to their community, nature and each other, while taking action for the environment
- Care for our rivers and waterways, this helps keep our beaches and oceans clean, and protects marine animals from the impact of rubbish including plastics
- Mitigate climate change by protecting and stabilising beaches and sand dunes, this work helps to protect our fragile coasts
- Consult Traditional Owners about local land management and decision making, they are the original landcarers and have been caring for our natural environment for thousands of years and continue to do so with Landcare activities like cultural burns
- Save the habitat of native animals and birdlife by constructing and installing nest boxes
- Make ‘bug hotels’ to encourage bees and insects to pollinate gardens
- Teach children and young people about where our food comes from and how farmers care for their land, water and biodiversity on their property
- Connect urban and rural communities to bridge the city-country divide
- Support the habitat of threatened species like the koala, platypus and native birds, from the impact of urban development and climate change.
- Monitor the impacts of climate change by working with community volunteers to monitor the changes in the habitats of fauna and flora and provide research data to universities and research agencies
- Landcarers help Australia to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals, through their community-led environmental projects protecting and restoring our land and water assets
- Rehabilitate degraded landscapes by planting trees to act as shelter for livestock and help support the growth of native grasses
- Manage invasive pests like feral pigs, foxes, deer and other animals that destroy the landscape and kill native animals
- Actively promote to local councils how they can help the local community to have more open green spaces and they support to care for parks and urban bushland
- Host education programs and workshops to share knowledge, Landcare is about lifelong learning and connection to place
- Manage community native plant nurseries and educates the general public about the value of local indigenous plant species
- Help educate private landowners on ways to better look after their land to help with species conservation – especially if the land is located on a habitat corridor.
- Build fences to protect vegetation, livestock and keep out feral pests
- Host volunteer groups on their land to help with planting projects – what landcare volunteers can do in a weekend can take a farmer or landholder a year to do themselves
- Waste and litter removal from bushland, wetlands, waterways and coastlines
- Increase awareness of the importance of environmental issues that impact our daily lives, from a local to international scale
- Working to care for the environment has a positive impact on the mental and physical health of individuals and the wellbeing of communities
- Bring people together from all walks of life to do something good for the environment.
With over 6,000 groups and 100,000+ volunteers, the landcare movement is diverse and encompasses sustainable farmers, landcare groups and networks, Indigenous landcare, Bushcare and ‘Friends of’ groups, Coastcare, Dunecare and Rivercare groups, Junior Landcare (including early learning childhood centres, schools, Scouts, Girl Guides and youth groups) and other community groups involved in restoring and protecting their local environment.