The Cumberland Plain, in Sydney’s western suburbs, boasts a unique woodland environment right in the midst of highly developed residential areas. Conservation Volunteers Australia, working with the Department of Environment, has purchased 5.6 hectares of land to create the Londonderry Woodland Reserve. This reserve will preserve some of Sydney’s endangered woodland, and provide nature corridors and habitats for the area’s unique flora and fauna.
Sydney’s Growing West
In 1877, the Cumberland Plain Woodlands covered over 100,000 hectares of land, or 30% of the watershed flowing into Sydney Harbour! Today, Western Sydney is a rapidly growing population centre, including growing urban areas like Parramatta, Penrith and Blacktown. Only 6% of the original native woodland remains, most of it in scattered patches.
The rapid development of Western Sydney threatens native bushland in many ways, including:
- clearance for housing, agricultural and industrial uses
- disturbance by motorbikes and other human activity
- rubbish and garden waste dumping
- introduced animals (such as cats and dogs) preying on wildlife
- invasive weeds including kikuyu, blackberries, bridal creeper, and African love grass
Cumberland Plain – a Wilderness Corridor
The Cumberland Plain Woodland area is currently home to all kinds of birds, bats, and small mammals. Native wildlife need more than just pockets of bush to live in. They need corridors that allow them to move around, to find seasonal habitats, food, and breeding grounds.
The federal Department of Environment and New South Wales government have identified the Cumberland Plain Woodland as an endangered ecological community. Since 2014 various agencies have formed a plan for managing this woodland, to protect the wildlife living there.
Londonderry Woodland Reserve
In 2015, Conservation Volunteers Australia took on the management of one part of the Cumberland Plain, a 5.7 hectare area about 12km from Penrith, called Londonderry Woodland Reserve.
Londonderry Woodland Reserve will provide a safe haven for wildlife for the future. We’ll be working with the local community and agencies to carry out a range of conservation activities, from invasive weed removal and tree planting, to wildlife surveys and heritage conservation.
As well as the benefits to the local flora and fauna, Londonderry Woodland Reserve will provide educational, scientific, and cultural opportunities for volunteers. Our projects will help people connect with nature and understand the vital importance of our natural environment.
Working with local communities
Londonderry Woodland Reserve will help people in Sydney’s west connect with their natural environment. We’ll be developing partnerships with NGOs, local government, and Traditional Owners across Western Sydney, to care for Country, develop cross-cultural training, provide indigenous experiences for our volunteers, and achieve a range of conservation and social outcomes in Western Sydney. And, of course, we’ll be offering volunteer projects, as well as community events and activities to get our neighbours involved.
Do you represent an NGO, local government, or other organisation with an interest in the Cumberland Basin Woodland? Get in touch to talk about partnering with us.
Support our work at Londonderry Woodland Reserve and across the broader Cumberland Plain Woodlands, and help us protect Western Sydney’s native bushland. Donate now via our secure online system!