Native plants & local bushland
Our local flora
The Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) contains a diverse range of plant (flora) species which live in a range of distinctive communities and ecosystems.
Biodiversity is declining globally, and locally, with over 40 plants in the LGA listed as threatened under NSW and Australian Government legislation. A range of threats affect plant species including:
- 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
Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs) are a naturally occurring group of native plants, animals and other organisms living in a unique habitat. In the Cessnock LGA, we have some significantly important EECs to protect:
Endangered Ecological Communities
- 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
Check out the Friends of Werakata National Park website for more information.
Our local biodiversity is significant, both in the Hunter Valley and NSW, with more than 65 threatened species of plants and animals, including nine endangered ecological communities, to be found. Bushland is vital to regional biodiversity as it:
- retains significant forested areas (corridors) connected between the Yengo, Wollemi, Watagan and Werakata National Parks, which are essential to enable the movement, and resilience, of plants and animals between habitats due to change in land use or climate change
- is influenced by western NSW climate, species and winds over the Merriwa Plateau
- provides a migration path for many Australian birds (as well as overseas migratory birds)
- has a particular temperate climate which may become a ‘refuge’ for many species in impacts related to climate change and droughts
The bushland of Cessnock is home to some very important plant and animal species:
Our bushland species
- Critically endangered species, including the Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot use our local bushland for food and shelter. The Regent Honeyeater is also known to breed here.
- Werakata National Park provides vital protection for Kurri Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland, an endangered ecological community.
- The North Rothbury Persoonia (persoonia pauciflora), listed as critically endangered, is only found in a small area in North Rothbury.
- The vulnerable Earps Gum (eucalypts parramattensis subsp decadens) is only found in the Kurri Kurri/Cessnock area and in Tomago. Werakata National Park. It provides vital protection for this rare species.
- The small flower Grevillea, (grevillea parviflora subsp parviflora) listed as vulnerable. It can be found growing locally, particularly in Werakata National Park.
- Numerous endangered ecological communities including, Lower Hunter Spotted Gum- Ironbark Community and Quorrobolong Scribbly Gum Woodland are found in the area.
The survival of many of these threatened species and communities is linked to the long term health of our local bushland.
"Our Bushland" project
The "Our Bushland" campaign has been developed to raise awareness about local bushland and its importance to local species. The campaign has been made possible by funding from the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.
Unfortunately, our bushlands are regularly subject to activities which impact on the health of bushland, affecting their ability to provide for the needs of native fauna:
- Illegal logging reduces species diversity. Large trees often targeted for removal are more likely to contain hollows which fauna use for shelter and breeding.
- Illegal dumping changes water flows in an area, contribute to erosion and potentially contaminate soil. It often brings in weed species, hinders re-vegetation and can potentially kill plants that support wildlife.
- Fires have a devastating impact on all types of fauna, particularly small animals, such as insects.
- Motorbikes cause erosion, soil compaction and hinder re-vegetation. Bike riders inadvertently introduce invasive and/or weed species and diseases into the bush (from unwashed bikes and clothing).
What can I do?
Help us preserve our local bushland by considering the following:
When buying firewood, ensure your supplier is signed to the Firewood Association of Australia. Be wary of firewood sold on the roadside. Always ask to see evidence of a permit to collect firewood for commercial sale. Use your fireplace only when necessary. Always put on warmer clothing first and/or snuggle up with a blanket.
Report illegal Dumpers online at RID.
Never risk starting a fire. Put cigarette butts in the bin and report any suspicious behaviour to the NSW Police.
Ride in designated areas and keep to the tracks. Prioritise riding in commercial riding parks and circuits. Report riders not doing the right thing to the NSW Police or National Parks.