Tag Archives: Swampcare

CANCELLED Swampcare – Kittyhawk (Wentworth Falls)

This event has been CANCELLED due to coronavirus concerns.

Sunday 22 March @ 9:00 am 3:00 pm

Come and join the long term efforts of volunteers to free this large swamp system of a huge variety of weeds and restore the habitat of the Giant Dragon Fly and the Blue Mountains Water Skink. A joint NPWS / BMCC activity. Lunch and morning tea donated by the Hominy Bakery.

Book by Friday 14th of  March with Erin on ehall@bmcc.nsw.gov.au or 4780 5623


Sunday 22 March, 2020
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
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Erin Hall
4780 5623
Wentworth Falls,

Swampcare at Valley View

An opportunity to continue the long term efforts of volunteers to keep improving this large swamp system that needs help to reverse the impact of many varieties of weeds.  A known site of two threatened species, Giant Dragonfly and the Blue Mountains Water Skink.

This is a joint NPWS and BMCC activity.  Lunch and morning tea donated by Hominy Bakery.  Please book by the 3rd September with Edward on 4780 5623 or ebaylisshack@bmcc.nsw.gov.au .

Swampcare at Valleyview Swamp

Come for the day or just the morning.

Help us get this swamp back into shape. This stream is part of the headwaters to the Braeside Swamp which is very important to the health of Govetts Leap Falls.

There is a wide range of weeds to choose from including Holly, Honeysuckle, Privet and Jasmine. Enjoy a delicious morning tea and lunch donated by Hominy Bakery.

Please book by the 25 February via email: bushcare@bmcc.nsw.gov.au or phone: 4780 5623 to confirm the address and meeting spot.

Swampcare at North Hazelbrook

Do you have a swamp in your backyard or interested in swamp restoration?

Then come join us for this very special event in Hazelbrook, where you will learn the basic principles about swamp restoration whilst giving this swamp a helping hand.

The swamp is located off Rocklea Street, which is the very north end of the urban area and is still in its early stages of being restored, so there is plenty of primary work to be done on a variety of weeds – Erica, buddleia, privet, crofton weed.

A FREE delicious lunch and morning tea has been kindly donated by Hominy Bakery.

Bookings are essential so please RSVP via the link on this page or contact Stephanie at schew@bmcc.nsw.gov.au. by Thursday 20 September.


Where: Rocklea Street, North Hazelbrook
When: Friday, 28 September @ 9:00 am3:00 pm

Swampcare at Valley View Swamp

Come for the day or just the morning. Help us get this swamp back into shape.  This swamp forms part of the extensive Braeside Upland Swamp which flows into Govetts Leap Falls.  Enjoy a delicious morning tea and lunch donated by the Hominy Bakery.  Book with Stephanie at  by Friday 22 September.

The 10 year anniversary of Blue Mountains City Council’s Swampcare and Save our Swamps Program was celebrated at a Swamp Symposium recently that highlighted the significant and award-winning achievements of swamp restoration in the Blue Mountains.
The one-day conference, which attracted 65 attendees, highlighted dedicated Swampcare volunteers who have contributed over 10,000 hours towards protecting Blue Mountains swamps.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said the award-winning approach to swamp restoration is part of Council’s whole of catchment approach to environmental management.

“Swampcare is a vital part of Council’s highly effective volunteer program aimed at biodiversity conservation,” Cr Greenhill said. “We’re able to better protect and restore swamps across the city thanks to 75 dedicated Swampcare volunteers.

Blue Mountains Swamps are a biologically diverse plant community that occurs nowhere else in the world. The vegetation in these swamps range from low button grass clumps to large shrubs such as the Hakea and Grevillea species. The swamps provide essential habitat to several Threatened Species such as the Blue Mountains Water Skink (Eulamprus leuraensis) and the Giant Dragonfly (Petalura gigantea).

Council’s Upland Swamp Rehabilitation Program started in 2006 after Blue Mountains swamps were listed as part of the Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone endangered ecological community.

In 2008 Blue Mountains and Lithgow City Councils formed a partnership to deliver the ‘Save our Swamps’ (S.O.S) project to restore the endangered ecological community across both local government areas. The project was supported by grant funding of $250,000 over 3 years from the Urban Sustainability program of the NSW Environmental Trust.

In 2009 the S.O.S. project received a $400,000 Federal Government ‘Caring for Country’ grant to expand the program to incorporate Wingecarribee Shire Council and Gosford City Council. The partnership resulted in the swamp remediation model being rolled out to over 95% of the endangered ecological community in the four local government areas.

The innovative integrated approach led to the project receiving four awards, including a special commendation in the United Nations World Environment Day Award for Excellence in Overall Environmental Management in 2011.

Speakers at the conference included Palaeoecologist, Dr Lennard Martin, who spoke on the ancient origins of swamps and Principal Scientist at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Martin Krogh, who discussed the health of Newnes and Woronora Plateau Swamps.

Eric Mahony and Amy St Lawrence from Council’s Environment and Culture Branch also gave presentations. The day finished up with a field trip to the new soft engineering stormwater structures installed at the Leura catchment.


The Swamp Symposium was made possible by funding from the Office of Environment and Heritage ‘Save Our Species’ program, the new NSW Environmental Trust funded ‘Swamped by Threats’ project and Council.


Interested in Swampcare? Get involved by emailing schew@bmcc.nsw.gov.au or call the Bushcare office on 4780 5623.

Celebrate 10 years of Swampcare! Swamp Symposium and field trip

An exciting all day Swamp Conference and fieldtrip in celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the foundation of Swampcare and the listing of Blue Mountains Swamps under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.


In honour of the 10 year anniversary  of Swampcare and the listing of Blue Mountains Swamps under the Threatened Species Conservation Act, the Swamp Symposium will explore everything a swamp aficionado needs to know about swamps. The packed program will;

  •  Explore the ancient  origins of swamps and the secrets they can reveal about both the past and our future with Paleoecologist Associate Professor Scott Mooney
  • Celebrate the epic battle to save our Blue Mountains swamps and over 10 years of Swampcare and the Save our Swamps program with Lyndal Sullivan
  •  Showcase the new 10 year “Swamped by Threats “ project funded by the Save our Species NSW  Environmental Trust grant which aims to secure protect the core habitat of the Blue Mountains Water Skink and the Giant Dragonfly in the Blue Mountains and Newnes Plateau for the next 100 years.
  • Explore new research into the geomorphology of Blue mountains Swamps and the invaluable ecosystem services that swamps perform for us everyday by (soon to be) Dr Kirsten Cowley.
  • Examine the results of groundwater monitoring in Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamps with Dr Martin Krogh from the Office of Environment and Heritage.
  • Provide updates on the current state of knowledge of the Giant Dragonfly (Ian Baird) and Blue Mountains Water Skink (Sarsha Gorrissen) and what the future holds for these iconic creatures of the Blue Mountains Swamps.

These presentations will be followed by a field trip to visit the latest soft engineering innovations being developed and/or adapted to local conditions by Eric Mahony and his team from Blue Mountains City Council to protect swamps from stormwater by controlling, slowing, cleansing and infiltrating stormwater flows prior to them entering swamps as well as now tried and trusted techniques for rehydrating and repairing damaged and channelized swamps. This is an event not to be missed for all friends of Swamps! Book early to avoid disappointment

The Swamp Symposium is proudly supported by BMCC’s Save our Swamps and Bushcare programs, the ‘Save our Species’ program and funding from the NSW Environmental Trust funded Swamped by Threats project.

Swampcare volunteers put their specialist skills to work in Kitty Hawke Swamp, Wentworth Falls



North Hazelbrook Swamp July 2009 photo Lyndal Sullivan

Swampcare is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year!  From the first on ground workday at Kittyhawke Swamp in North Wentworth Falls in March 2007 Swampcare has grown into an annual program of events in the Blue Mountains run by Council’s Bushcare. Swampcare provides opportunities for volunteers to learn about swamps and the special requirements of undertaking bush regeneration in these sensitive places as well as making hands on contributions to protecting them.

Many workshops have been held over the years to add to the knowledge of volunteers covering swamp ecology, vegetation, threatened species and  techniques to rehydrate swamps. A Swamp Symposium will be held on Wednesday 21st June  to celebrate and continue developing community knowledge, thanks to people such as Dr  Ian Baird, who has very generously given his time and shared his knowledge by regularly presenting workshops.

Over the 10 years more than 2000 volunteer hours have been contributed in on site works.  Many thanks must also go to Hominy Bakery in Katoomba who have been donating delicious lunches and morning teas for volunteers at every event since 2007. A much appreciated incentive to keep coming back!

March 2007 Kittyhawke volunteers at the first Swampcare event learning the ropes. Photo by Michael Hensen

Sites currently worked by volunteers in the Swampcare events program are:

  • Rocklea St Swamp, North Hazelbrook;
  • West Kitty Hawke Swamp, Wentworth Falls;
  • Clydebank Swamp North Leura;
  • Valley View Swamp, Blackheath.

In addition to the Swampcare events program, there are 15 other Bushcare or Landcare groups which also work in swamps and/or their buffers at some stage during each year.

There are 2253 hectares of swamp mapped in the Blue Mountains with 929 of those outside the National Park.  Swamps within the urban area are recognised as being the most vulnerable to degradation,  a concern which is being addressed by this program.

According to recent recorded history, scientific and management interest began in swamps in 1974 with the PhD by WN Holland entitled ‘Origin and Development of Hanging Valleys in the Blue Mountains, NSW’; which showed the significance of the geomorphology on formation and maintenance of hanging swamps.

In 1988, ecologists DA Keith & D H Benson described and mapped ‘Blue Mountains Sedge Swamps’ and other upland swamps, as part of a larger study. In 1991 the Blue Mountains City Council recognised swamps as an ‘environmentally sensitive vegetation community’ in  Local Environment Plan 1991 (LEP 91).

After witnessing a number of destructive developments occurring within and around swamps, in 1999 community members, under the banner of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, began working to gain legal protection for swamps.

In September 2007, after 8 years of hard work, Blue Mountains Swamps were listed as a Vulnerable Ecological Community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act (TSC Act). In order to achieve this, 3 other significant achievements were made:

  • The listing of Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone as an Endangered Ecological Community under the Commonwealth EPBC Act in 2005 (which included Blue Mountains Swamps), and
  • An amendment to the NSW TSC Act to make provision for Vulnerable Ecological Communities (2002),
  • An increase in community awareness and support for swamps.

For a more detailed history and swamp images see http://bluemountains.org.au/swamps.shtml

Since the listing in 2005, Blue Mountains City Council has obtained over a million dollars in grants from state and federal agencies to protect the swamps. BMCC’s ongoing Save our Swamps program is currently partnered with Central Tablelands Local Land Services to deliver a 10 year $750,000 “Swamped by Threats” grant. This aims to continue protecting the swamps of the Blue Mountains and Newnes Plateau with a focus on swamps that are known habitat for the endangered Blue Mountains Water Skink and the Giant Dragonfly.

Swampcare is a vital component of the concerted effort by BMCC and the Blue Mountains community to protect its valuable swamp systems. Our swamps continue to need all this community support  – hands on swamp restoration work, watching  and reporting illegal activity, writing submissions on potentially damaging developments, and campaigning to strengthen legal protections and ‘buy back’ swamps.

New members are always welcome to join the Swampcare program, just contact the Bushcare office on 4780 5623!

April 2007: Hard at it in Kittyhawke Swamp, Wentworth Falls. Photo by Michael Hensen

Swampcare at Kittyhawke Swamp North Wentworth Falls

Kittyhawke Swamp

Kittyhawke Swamp, North Wentworth Falls. Photo by Peter Ardill

Wednesday  29th March  9am – 3pm     

Join the long term efforts of volunteers to free this large swamp system of a huge variety of weeds and restore the habitat of the Giant Dragon Fly and the Blue Mountains Water Skink.  A joint NPWS/ BMCC activity.  Lunch and morning tea donated by the Hominy Bakery. Book with Lyndal on (02) 4780 5623 or lsullivan@bmcc.nsw.gov.au by Tuesday 21st March.