Our bushland projects

Our precious bushland reserves are made up of native plants that provide crucial habitat to a number of threatened species including Powerful Owls, Fishing Bats and Sunshine Wattle. We care for 88 hectares of local bushland by protecting native plants and animals, carrying out bush regeneration and managing weeds and feral animals.

Bushland areas clean the air we breathe, regulate our climate and filter the water running into our creeks, harbour and the ocean. Our unique bushland areas are also highly valued by the community for exercise, relaxation and inspiration. 

Monitoring Local Plants and Animals

Every two years we collect data on the diversity of plants and animals found in our bushland reserves and parks. We also monitor the water quality in local creeks and waterways. We use this information to assist us with the conservation and protection of our local native species and management of waterway health.

Our most recent Environmental and Biodiversity monitoring study was conducted in late 2021 and early 2022.

Bush Regeneration

Council has a dedicated team of staff members and volunteers who maintain and protect our local bushland.

Council staff and volunteers currently carry out bush regeneration and weed removal works over 16.83 hectares of bushland in Woollahra. This work occurs at Cooper Park, Parsley Bay Reserve, Gap Park and Trumper Park and Harbour View Park.

Councils bush regeneration activities are also supported by volunteers from corporate groups and schools.

Seahorse Monitoring

Did you know that some of our harbour beaches are home to colonies of White's Seahorses?

White’s Seahorses grow to a maximum length of 16cm and are highly variable in colour, which is known to change based on their mood and the habitat coloration it is living on.

White’s Seahorses are listed as Endangered under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 due to the loss of natural habitat. Sydney populations are now predominantly found on man-made swimming nets and in seagrasses within the harbour. Council has reviewed the process of cleaning swimming nets to minimise the potential impact the process has on the seahorse populations.

Council has teamed up with Marine Explorer, who are regularly monitoring our seahorse populations.

Small Bird Habitat Garden

Take a walk up through Gap Park and you will see our demonstration habitat garden for attracting and protecting small native birds such as the Superb Fairy Wren.

Planting local native plants for small bird habitat provides food, shelter and nesting sites for our beautiful native birds. This style of planting requires a mix of tall soft plants, protective spikey plants, along with dense shrubs and ground covers.

Native Bees

Bees are a key part of our environment as they pollinate our native bushland, local gardens and food crops. Australia has over 1,500 species of native bee with around 200 different species found in Sydney. Worldwide bee numbers are reducing as they are impacted by the effects of disease, pests and chemicals.Thankfully our native bees are not being impacted by the diseases affecting the Apis honeybees.

Almost all our native bees in Sydney are solitary bees that live individually, nesting in hollow stems, old borer holes and dead tree branches. Tetragonula carbonaria is the only species of native bee in Woollahra Council area that live in hives. These bees are stingless, live in a community of 6,000-10,000 bees and have a hive structure similar to that of the Apis honeybee, including a queen, workers and drones.

Woollahra Council has installed hives of the stingless native bees Tetragonula carbonaria in the garden outside Council Chambers building, at Woollahra Preschool and Cooper Park Community Garden.

How can you help conserve our native bees?

  • Plant flowering native plants to support native bee species.
  • Avoid or minimise insecticide use. If using insecticides use them when bees are less likely to be moving around, for example during the coldest part of the day or night.
  • Set up a hive of native bees in your backyard. Several suppliers offer hives for sale in Sydney.

For more information about native bees visit the Aussie Bee website.

For information on introduced honey bees and what to do if bee swarms or hives become problematic visit our native animals and wildlife page.

Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

In 2015 Council adopted the Woollahra Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2015-2025. This Strategy represents the first documentation of the strategic direction of Council to conserve the valuable flora and fauna within the Woollahra municipality.

Download the documents:

Woollahra Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2015-2025(PDF, 12MB)

Woollahra Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2015-2025 - Appendices(PDF, 3MB)

Our Biodiversity Targets

Council has developed a community strategic plan which details Council’s targets and commitments in relation to key priority action areas (energy & emissions, water, biodiversity, waste, transport).

Our biodiversity targets are:

  • 75% of bushland under regeneration by 2025
  • 1,750 trees planted in bushland annually
  • 4,250 shrubs planted in bushland annually
  • 4,000 ground cover plants planted in bushland annually
  • Increase the number of bush regeneration volunteers by 30% by 2030

Read the full Woollahra - 2030 Our community, our place, our plan(PDF, 15MB)

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