Good Bushland Neighbours
The health and quality of our areas of bushland, whether natural or reconstructed like many of our drainage reserves, are essential habitat for native wildlife in urban areas.
Healthy bushlands protect water catchments and streams and helps to provide clean air and drinking water. It is for these reasons that those of us lucky enough to live adjacent to one of our bushland areas have a very important responsibility to help our natural areas through the changes and threats they face from a growing community.
Tips on Being a Good Bushland Neighbour
Living next to or near a Bushland Reserves should be considered as a great privilege as our bushland areas not only provide quiet, relaxing places and opportunities for us to enjoy nature, but also importantly provides a refuge and protects precious habitats for many plants and native wildlife species as the region grows and expands.
Some key actions to ensure that you are a 'Good Bushland Neighbour' include:
- Ensure your gardens and plants don’t impact on the local native flora, fauna and ecological systems of your adjoining natural area.
- Never dump garden waste in bushland. Dumped rubbish smothers native plants and leaves bare patches which are prone to erosion and weed invasion. In addition, many common garden plants are actually environmental weeds. Dumped garden waste may contain seeds or plants that quickly grow and outcompete native plants.
- Compost garden rubbish or take it to the tip.
- Avoid planting and remove any plants from your garden that can become aggressive bushland invaders.
- Remove any invasive weedy plants on your property and replace them with local native plants. Planting additional local natives along your adjoining property boundary can also help to extend the habitat areas for native fauna and also create a valuable buffer area between your residential areas and the adjoining bushland.
- Respect the property boundaries and avoid “bushland neighbour creep”. Don’t extend gardens, lawns and sheds into the bushland area. Bushland Reserves are public space for all to enjoy and often the cleared area directly adjoining your fence is a fire break for your protection.
- Contain domestic pets at night and don’t allow them to roam freely.
- Don’t allow dogs to chase wildlife in bushland areas.
- Stay on all designated tracks when using bushland areas and take all your rubbish away with you.
Get Active in Managing Your Local Bushland Reserve
Sunshine Coast Council welcomes you to their dedicated network of community volunteers within the Community Nature Conservation Program. This program actively encourages and involves community volunteers in the conservation and management of our region's natural areas.
Moreton Bay Regional Council encourages members of the community to join their Bushcare Program. This program provides opportunities to learn more about the environment and to participate in hands on conservation and restoration projects.
challenges, tools and games.
Useful Tips and Facts
- Create urban wildlife corridors and stepping stones to larger local bushland or parkland areas.
- In nature there is no such thing as waste everything is linked and contributes to the cycle. As a plant reaches the end of its life cycle it is not discarded by nature, instead it provides habitat for animals and food for micro-organisms as it lies on the ground, the waste from the micro-organisms, bacteria and fungi feeding on it replace nutrients and organic material to the soil for new plants to grow.
- Plant local native species
- The best way to attract native wildlife to your backyard is to provide a variety of healthy natural foods in the form of seeds, leaves, flowers, nectar, pollen, fruits and nuts throughout the year.
- The use of pesticides and herbicides can damage your soils and kill non target species. The poisoning of insects with chemicals can also cause larger species relying on those insects as a food source to become sick or even die from eating poisoned insects.
- To create habitat for smaller native birds you can grow shrubs close together to create dense corners or pockets in your garden which will provide protection and refuge from larger aggressive birds such as noisy miners
- Wattles (Acacias). While most wattles only live between 6 - 10 years, they are an important pioneer species which colonise disturbed areas, where other plants find it hard to grow. They improve soil conditions enough to allow other species to germinate and thrive by fixing nitrogen into the soil through their roots and adding high levels of organic leaf litter.