Draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy2020-12-02T13:16:32+10:00

Draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

The Hornsby Local Government Area (LGA) contains a diverse array of landscapes with significant conservation values and hosts a diversity of native flora, fauna and invertebrates. The biophysical qualities of the LGA also contribute to Hornsby’s character and identity as the Bushland Shire.

This presents a challenge for Council to carefully balance future population growth and associated development whilst having regard to the protection of biodiversity values in the lands and waters under its management.

Currently, several specific state government initiatives as well as supporting policies at the international, national and regional level suggest a range of measures toward the protection and management of biodiversity. These include the Greater Sydney Commission’s District Plan, the NSW Government Architect’s Office Greener Places and a specific focus on Green Infrastructure Networks.

View the Draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is being proposed by Council?2020-09-08T16:12:54+10:00

The Biodiversity Conservation Strategy aims to:

  • Strategy 1: Protect and conserve ecological values 
    The protection and conservation of existing remnant ecosystems is crucial to the prevention of further habitat and biodiversity loss and the viability of green infrastructure. Remnant ecosystems provide important habitat resources for urban biodiversity, and community access to natural landscapes. In addition, ecological values across other land-use types including parks, waterways and restored areas will be increasingly recognised for their ecological value.
  • Strategy 2: Connect urban habitat
    Species diversity and genetic health relies on the total area of habitat, proximity of habitats, and the capacity of species to move between habitats. Green infrastructure corridors allows plants and animals to recolonise areas where they have become locally extinct so they can be enjoyed by future generations and have long-term viability. They also allow species to find alternative habitat in times of major disasters such as fire or flood, and escape major threats such as clearing or disease. It is important to understand the existing network of green and blue habitats and their links. Where links between existing habitats are incomplete, approaches – such as the Green Infrastructure Framework – are needed that help to restore both corridor and stepping-stone habitat connections. Urban green and blue grid corridors and networks can also provide a range of social benefits including improved recreation opportunities and neighbourhood destinations.
  • Strategy 3: Restore disturbed ecosystems to enhance ecological value and function
    Where ecosystems have been disturbed, restoration is the preferred option to improve habitat structure and function and support biodiversity. Restoration not only includes bush regeneration and weed management in the reserve system, which is statutorily required, but also refers to urban habitat corridors where the built form as well as gardens, street verges, parks, and large institutional properties etc. can all play a role in improving habitat through the way they are designed and managed. Specific actions will vary depending on location; condition; identified values; past, current, and anticipated pressures; and what is feasible and practical.
  • Strategy 4: Create new ecosystems 
    Where habitat linkages are needed within a corridor in areas devoid of habitat, new ecosystems can be created. Green infrastructure and water- sensitive urban design elements, such as green roofs, wetlands, and bio swales, can provide habitats and ecosystem services. More effective urban green spaces can be created when the improvement of the space considers multiple benefits at the design stage including improved economic, social, and environmental outcomes.
  • Strategy 5: Connect people to nature
    People connect with nature through sport, recreation, education, bushwalking, volunteer activities, and health- related activities. Daily exposure to nature can be improved using urban design features such as biodiverse green walls or street trees, and by providing infrastructure to facilitate access such as walking tracks, picnic areas, and lookouts. These connections are fundamental to benefit people but also the environment. Improving people’s connection to nature may support longer term land management as people are motivated to care for and enhance their natural spaces. A broad education, engagement and citizen science program within the Hornsby Shire Council will support new and existing programs to encourage and enhance biodiversity and conservation management.
What is biodiversity in Hornsby?2020-09-09T17:47:41+10:00

Within the Shire the recorded number of species are more than: 660 fauna species, 1200 flora species and 90 fungi species. The number of invertebrate species is unknown, as is the number of aquatic species, although recent surveys show 230 discrete listings of macroinvertebrates and 8 native fish species.

There are 12 Threatened Ecological Communities of which three are critically endangered: Blue Gum High Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion, Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest and Shale/ Sandstone Transition Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion.

Why is biodiversity important in my community?2020-09-09T17:47:07+10:00

The bushland of Hornsby Shire provides ecosystem services that are critical for maintaining the health and wellbeing of Hornsby. Biodiversity provides Hornsby citizens, business and visitors life-sustaining benefits through the transformation of resources into a flow of clean air, water, and food.

We cannot underestimate the value of environmental assets such as land, water, vegetation and atmosphere in providing ‘essential services’ to human life.

What can I do to help biodiversity in my community?2020-09-08T11:35:29+10:00

To help address the major threats to the conservation of biodiversity in the Hornsby LGA you can give feedback on management and policy (now), work to address responsible development and clearing on your property and in your area, support Wildlife and Habitat Impact by planting or protecting remnant trees/hollow bearing trees and habitat, support delivery and role model biodiversity values and education and enable empathy for biodiversity.

Removing weeds and replacing with natives, reduce pollution, control domestic animals, contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, reduce destructive recreational habits (like mountain biking through endangered areas), and do your part to protect and educate on biodiversity in the shire.

The Draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy fits under the Environmental Sustainability Strategy – Sustainable Hornsby 2040 and is part of the Sustainability theme of the Community Strategic Plan.

Have Your Say

The draft Strategy is part of a broad range of sustainability initiatives being implemented through Hornsby Council.

The exhibition period ended on Friday, 13 November 2020.

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