Management plans for rural roadside reserves

The Wollondilly Roadside Reserve Strategy, a three year Natural Heritage Trust funded project, was developed by Wollondilly Shire Council in New South Wales and the Natural Heritage Trust to produce management plans for rural roadside environments. The main aim of the strategy was for sustainable, natural and informed management of roadside environments, to benefit the community ecologically, economically and socially.

Following an assessment, and community and stakeholder consultation preceding work on the project, it was found that, ‘native vegetation will reduce both the cost maintenance to road management authorities and benefit the environment. The community at large will subsequently benefit from less revenue being spent on road maintenance costs and the improved amenity of the native vegetation along road corridors.

In accordance with the objectives set out in the strategy, Council embarked on a number of actions including various assessments of targeted sites, numerous native tree plantings, education and promotion.The strategy is continually being built on and expanded by Council.

“A recent addition is the Wollondilly Community Nursery that is manned by volunteers,” said Council’s Environmental Officer of Environmental Management, Brad Staggs. “It now produces plants and seed stock for revegetating disturbed areas. It is becoming an economically viable entity in its own right.”

An independent study conducted by the University of Western Sydney concluded that the strategy when fully implemented has the potential to save Council $13 million over a 20 year period.

For further information, contact Brad Staggs on (02) 4677 1177.