What Is Landcare?

You have heard the name Landcare, and may have seen the caring hands logo – but what is landcare? Landcare is about connecting people from all walks of life to do something good for the environment.

Landcare can be best described as a movement of individuals, groups and organisations across Australia with a shared vision to restore, enhance and protect the natural environment in their local community through sustainable land management and conservation activities.

Landcare originated in Victoria in 1986, with farmers, landholders and conservationists coming together to respond to the impacts of soil erosion and salinity. Landcare became a national program in 1989 with bipartisan support from the Hawke Government, and the ‘Decade of Landcare’ was launched to bring together community, government, business and industry, to restore the landscape following 200 years of land degradation. For more information about the origins of Landcare please visit here.

Landcare has evolved  to include thousands of landcare groups and other environmental community groups across Australia who identify an environmental issue and respond by organising others to come together to find a solution.

Landcare Australia is the national not-for profit organisation, established in 1989 by the Hawke Government, who support the Landcare movement with their important work. You can read more about Landcare Australia here.

Volunteering with Landcare and caring for the environment has a positive impact on the mental and physical health of individuals and the wellbeing of communities. You can read more about this in the KPMG Landcare Wellbeing Report.

Every day, there are people actively caring for the environment in their local community, on their farm or on their property in so many different ways, here are just some examples of what Landcarers do:  

    1. Mobilise volunteers to come together and help restore, enhance and protecting the local environment in their community
    2. Plant native trees, shrubs and grasses to create habitat for native animals to improve biodiversity
    3. Community events including planting days, weed and rubbish removal, installing bird nesting boxes, education workshops and so much more…
    4. Care for the soils to maintain soil health and productivity to help prevent salinity and erosion
    5. Implement energy and water-usage efficiencies, such as farming effluent recycling, sediment control and solar panel installation
    6. 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.
    7. Create partnerships to help resolve local environmental issues, including Traditional Owners, First Nations people, local councils, natural resource management agencies, farming groups, schools and youth groups, universities and researchers, business and industry
    8. Landcare farmers engage in sustainable agriculture practices to create and manage productive, profitable and healthy landscapes
    9. Design and lead adventurous Intrepid Landcare projects to enable young people to connect to their community, nature and each other, while taking action for the environment
    10. Care for our rivers and waterways keeping our beaches and oceans clean, and protect marine animals from the impact of rubbish including plastics
    11. Care for our coasts by protecting and stabilising beaches and sand dunes, this work helps to protect our fragile coastline
    12. Consult and work with Traditional Owners and First Nations organisations about Cultural land management and decision making, they are the original Landcarers and have been caring for our natural environment for thousands of years
    13. Create habitat for native animals and birdlife by constructing and installing nest boxes, especially after bushfires
    14. Build ‘bug hotels’ to encourage bees and beneficial insects to pollinate gardens
    15. Create awareness for children to learn about biodiversity, First Nations perspectives, waste management, and where our food comes
    16. Connect urban and rural communities to bridge the city-country divide. Many rural groups host city volunteers on their properties for community planting events; what landcare volunteers can do in a weekend can take a farmer or land holder a year to do themselves
    17. Protect the habitat of threatened species like the koala, platypus and Regent Honeyeater from the impact of urban development and a changing climate
    18. Citizen science projects to monitor the impacts of a changing climate 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
    19. Landcarers help Australia to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals, through their community-led environmental projects protecting and restoring our land and water assets
    20. Rehabilitate degraded landscapes by planting trees to act as shelter for livestock and native species, and manage soil health and grazing systems to help support the growth of native grasses
    21. Manage invasive weeds and pests like feral pigs, foxes, deer, invasive introduced weeds such as Pattersons curse and Prickly Pear, and other species that compromise ecosystems and native animals
    22. Actively campaign for green spaces to local councils to help the local community care for parks and urban bushland
    23. Host education programs and workshops to share knowledge; Landcare is about lifelong learning and connection to place
    24. Manage community native plant nurseries and educate the community about the value of local indigenous plant species
    25. Support the education of private landowners in ways to improve management of their land to support species conservation
    26. Install fences to protect vegetation, livestock and keep out feral pests
    27. Waste and litter removal from bushland, wetlands, waterways and coastlines.
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