Bush Mates

What’s it all about?

The extensive housing development in Western Sydney is an exciting opportunity for new residents to live closer to nature. With an unprecedented number of people moving to the urban fringe we want to help you appreciate and value the bushland now at your door step.

We aim to increase the positive impact that you can have on your local environment by delivering ‘Bush Mates’ – a community engagement and education program to establish a respectful and sustainable relationship between communities and wildlife and habitat.

Bush Mates is working with National Parks Association of NSW, WWF, Greening Australia and The University of Sydney to help you be a mate to the bush.

Even the smallest changes that you and your family make in your backyard can make a big difference in the bush!

Being a good neighbour to the bush next door

This booklet is your guide to being a good mate to the bush. It covers some of the key issues arising from people living next to nature. You can also find handy hints and tips for actions that you can take in your backyard, in the reserves and in your community.

Sydney Citizens are fortunate  to have a wealth of bushland right next door. If you draw a 100 km radius from Sydney CBD, more than half of the area is bush land – including the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, the Royal National Park (world’s second oldest national park) and the stunning Sydney Harbour.

These places make NSW a great place to be outdoors and get to know nature.  Unfortunately, this closeness between people and nature can threaten the places we love and the plants and animals that live within them.

Our Fragile Environment

When new suburbs are first built, they can have highly visible impacts on the environment such as the destruction of habitat. Existing suburbs have more subtle impacts that can be very damaging over time.  These impacts range from cats hunting wildlife to garden plants becoming weeds.  When these impacts combine, they put stress on local environments and make them more sensitive to shock events like bushfire.

Making a Difference

Living next to nature gives a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and learn about the world we live in. Plants and animals do not recognise boundaries such as reserve fences. They live, eat and breed in backyards, along roadways, in parks and on farms. Everyone can make small changes to their lifestyle which make big differences to the bush next door.