Our wish is retain the nature of the Hawkesbury: its connections with Aboriginal heritage; with clean, productive waters, diverse habitats for fauna, connections with the National Parks to the north and west; at the same time maintaining agriculture, rural and bushland amenity and economic health. We also look to expand habitat for wildlife as climate change takes effect on existing populations. Co-existence of natural areas with rural living; more education and empowerment of landowners to manage properties sustainably; keeping core conservation areas and connecting them to others in the district; looking to the dynamic nature of rivers and the numerous benefits of a healthy riverbank to the health of the stream.
Benefits of high biodiversity
Benefits of high biodiversity – intrinsic value to the ecosystem is that it can cope with changes being brought about by climate change, or short-term disturbances such as fire or high wind episodes. A much simplified range of vegetation will be unable to ‘bounce back’ from the changes. Other benefits to our own comfort are secondary, but very important. Human health ultimately depends on ecosystem products and services (such as availability of fresh water, food and fuel sources).
Impacts causing loss of biodiversity include clearing, underscrubbing, invasive weeds, frequent fire, fragmentation of larger blocks into smaller ones, increasing the edge/area ratio.
What can you do to help?
HEN supports Landcare and Bushcare as two highly motivating ways to get more understanding and active participation and enjoy the great outdoors. Try joining a bushwalking group, especially with local experts, and look for courses in plant and animal identification. If you are a landholder with remnant bush, consider applying for assistance to rehabilitate the remnant, and even extend it by planting local natives. Help is available through Greater Sydney Local Land Services (GSLLS) Regional Landcare Facilitator, and through Hawkesbury City Council Community Bushcare Officer.
Examples of our biodiverse assets:
Vegetation assemblages which support a range of birdlife and other fauna. Many in the Hawkesbury area are high conservation value because of their restricted range, especially the shale communities which were cleared early by settlers.
The shale communities: Shale Cap Forests, Moist Shale Woodland, Western Sydney Dry Rainforest, Turpentine-Ironbark Forest, Shale-Sandstone Transition Forest and Cumberland Plain Woodlands. The sandstone communities: alluvium and shale-gravel communities. See details of each at links provided.
Government Policy documents:
Draft NSW Biodiversity Strategy 2010-2015
A draft NSW Biodiversity Strategy 2010-2015 (the draft Strategy), was prepared by the former Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) and Industry and Investment NSW (I&I NSW). It aimed to provide a framework to coordinate and guide investment in biodiversity conservation in NSW.