Living Connections - the importance of recreating habitat in Waverley

03 December 2018

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Last week’s wet weather didn’t stop Council's plant delivery to residents as part of the Living Connections Pilot program.

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Habitat corridors in Waverley’s local government area (LGA) are extremely fragmented. This has made it hard for native wildlife to move around to feed and reproduce and has presented barriers for plant pollination, germination and dispersal. Due to the urban density of Waverley LGA, Council established that working with privates properties is the only way to connect these corridors.

“We would love to bring Superb Fairy Wrens and the New Holland honeyeater back to our gardens as both breeds have largely disappeared from our area. Our gardens are the key to connecting the fragmented habitat which will allow wildlife to move around and develop healthy populations” Vicky Bachelard, Sustainable Communities Officer.

Waverley Council program, Living Connections aims to enhance local habitat and help create healthy gardens that thrive with life. Bronte and Tamarama have been recognised as target areas to bring back the Superb Fairy Wren and New Holland honeyeater and increase diversity of other small wildlife.

Residents with a suitable garden are invited to participate. Free specific garden design advice and suitable plants will be provided, with a focus on planting for small bird habitat. How the household uses the garden and existing plants and conditions will be considered to provide a planting plan that works for the homeowners and the local wildlife.

A pilot program is currently underway with seven Bronte residents who are helping Council fine tune the program ready for the launch in February 2019.

Bird study: All participants will be asked to complete a garden bird study and survey to assess if the birds we are trying to attract currently use their garden and gauge their gardening for wildlife knowledge. This will be repeated towards the end of the three-year program.

Verge Gardens: Households can also apply to create gardens on verges using Council’s current application process. Households will be responsible for maintaining their verge gardens but can receive the free advice and plants through the Living Connections program.

Council will also investigate suitable verges and other Council land to plant, which will be maintained by Council.

Further community activities:The program has an education component targeted to the wider community. We hope all Waverley residents learn the importance of habitat creation and that there is a role for everyone to play in recreating habitats. This may include educational events and activities where residents can learn about: native bees, native gardening, birds in backyards, bush tucker and bird watching walks, open gardens and National Tree Day events.

Living Connections will be implemented over three years and has been assisted by the New South Waled Government through its Environmental Trust.

Next year Living Connections will be open to all houses with gardens in Bronte and Tamarama. You can receive tailored garden advice and suitable plants to turn your gardens into an oasis for family and local small wildlife.

For more information about local biodiversity check our bushland and wildlife site

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.

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