Wild Futures

Crucial Native Flora & Fauna Bushfire Recovery in Barrington Tops


You’d be forgiven for being fooled by the radiant yellow blooms of the Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius). But this weed’s ominous name is – unfortunately – not where the association ends. Sweeping recklessly through native ecosystems, this bright but nefarious weed endangers the survival of many already-threatened species, and Barrington Tops National Park is experiencing one of Australia’s worst infestations to date.

Good news, however, is that with the significant joint efforts from Conservation Volunteers Australia, National Parks and Wildlife (NPWS), and our brilliant volunteers through a bushfire recovery project, this area is being brought back to its former glory – weed by stubborn weed.



The goal of the Bushfire Recovery Project is to aid the revival of native plants and animals after the devastation of the Gospers Mountain fire in the 2019-20 fire season. Together with NPWS, we have been working to control one of the largest infestations of Scotch broom in Australia.


“It has been amazing to work with NPWS staff and dedicated volunteers to restore this beautiful environment for the many threatened species that call Barrington Tops home.”

Jessica Styan – Project Officer, Wild Futures


Scotch broom outcompetes many native species and overtakes the groundcover and shrub cover levels. In certain areas, volunteers were met with walls of Scotch broom, which completely dominated the landscape. Weed control works for Scotch broom involved the use of machinery such as chainsaws (only to be used by licensed volunteers and NPWS staff) and hand tools such as loppers to physically remove the stem and reproductive part of the root system.


“The weed control works were extremely satisfying. As we cut down the Scotch broom, we could immediately see the positive physical difference we were making to the landscape.”

Jessica Styan – Project Officer, Wild Futures


The natural beauty of the Barrington Tops National Park cannot be underestimated


“Everywhere we looked through the mist and the rain were moss-covered trees, colourful mushrooms and whole communities of fungi. So much life can be found in this sub-alpine woodland community.”

Jessica Styan – Project Officer, Wild Futures


Barrington Tops National Park is a classified world heritage area with significant ecological values and many threatened plant and animal species, such as sphagnum moss (sphagnum cristatum), fragrant pepperbush (Tasmannia glaucifolia) and the broad-toothed rat (Mastacomys fuscus). Throughout the project, volunteers learned about the plight of the elusive broad toothed rat – a gentle and shy chubby-cheeked creature –  listed as a critically endangered species. Restoring these natural areas for this rare (and incredibly cute!) native rodent made the work feel even more meaningful.



Multi-coloured mushrooms, rosellas flying overhead and a fluorescent caterpillar that puzzled even our on-site ecologist were among the daily delights encountered by our team of wet-weather gear clad volunteers, up early every morning and ready to venture out into the misty landscape.


“Chatting with like-minded people around the campfire at night was among the trip’s many highlights – I can’t wait to go back.”

Jessica Styan – Project Officer, Wild Futures



Want to join us for the next Barrington Tops adventure?


Or discover all volunteer opportunities here.



This project is made possible through the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program and is supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.


Wild Futures

Proudly supported by our partners

Australian Government