Our local flora
An increasing number of Cessnock residents identified in the 2009 and 2012 community surveys that the bushland that supports a diversity of native plants and animals is valuable, particularly regarding our local natural assets such as the bushland, rivers and creeks, wetlands (including Ellalong Lagoon). Therefore, people certainly value biodiversity, as stated in the Cessnock Biodiversity Strategy 2014.
In nature, biodiversity values are highest in areas where native vegetation (plants) is in high condition (very good quality) and is well connected to other areas of vegetation (via corridors). Therefore connectivity and quality are the most important factors in improving our local plant (and animal) biodiversity.
Unfortunately biodiversity is declining globally, and locally, with over 40 plants in the Cessnock LGA listed as threatened under NSW and Australian Government legislation. A range of threats affect these plant species, and can include:
- Change in land use, or poor management of land leading to degradation or fragmentation of habitat.
- Invasion of weeds.
- Inappropriate fire regimes.
- Climate change impacts.
Cessnock also has a number of Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs), which are ‘an ecological community is a naturally occurring group of native plants, animals and other organisms living in a unique habitat’ as defined by the Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH).
The threats listed above can affect the extent and quality of an ecological community, leading them to being classified as an EEC under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. In Cessnock LGA, we have some significantly important EECs to protect, and include:
- Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland
- Lower Hunter Spotted Gum Ironbark Forest
- Hunter Lowland Redgum Forest
- Freshwater Wetlands on Coastal Floodplains
- Quorrobolong Scribbly Gum Woodland
- River-flat Eucalypt Frost on Coastal Floodplains
- Lowland Rainforest.
- Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest
To find out more information about these EECs and how you can assist, you can search the OEH Threatened Species Profiles, and the Friends of Werakata National Park also have some information available.
- Cessnock City Council Weeds Officers
- NSW DPI Weed Wise website and app
- Weeds of National Significance (WONS)
Support is available through a range of options for advice and/or funding for weed management locally. Go to the ‘How to help our local biodiversity’ page for more information and contacts.