Action: Assisted natural regeneration, tree planting (2900 trees in total) and the installation of artificial structural habitat for threatened fauna

Location: Big Scrub, NSW, Australia 

Habitat: Lowland Subtropical Rainforest

Threatened species32 threatened species of flora and 12 threatened species of fauna listed under Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Endangered ecological community: Lowland Subtropical Rainforest in Northern NSW listed in the Endangered Category under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Fundraising target: $150,000


Why this project? 

The Big Scrub was once the largest expanse of lowland subtropical rainforest in Australia, covering an area of approximately 75,000 hectares on rich volcanic and alluvial soils between Byron Bay, Ballina, and Lismore.

In the 1860s extraction of timber began, followed by clearing for agriculture. By 1900, only 1% of the rainforest remained. 

Today, the Big Scrub exists as 100 small, scattered remnants of subtropical rainforest within a largely cleared landscape.

This fragmentation divides the rainforest into smaller blocks and creates what is known as the edge effect. Thoroughly documented over several decades, it has significant detrimental effects on biodiversity. This is because flora and fauna experience a changed microclimate at the edge of the rainforest through an increase in the wind that reduces humidity. This results in a changed composition of species and fewer rainforest specialists. Fauna near the edge of the rainforest experience increased predation and deaths from vehicle strikes.

Remnants of the Big Scrub need to be expanded

The solution

For the threatened species found in the Big Scrub to survive, we need to expand the area of available habitat. The most efficient way to achieve this is by managing vegetation in the landscape to accelerate natural regeneration. Many species of rainforest trees produce fruits that attract birds and bats, which consume the fruit and spread the seeds. Other species of trees have their seeds disbursed by the wind. Exotic plants often disrupt the favourable conditions they need to germinate and grow, so by removing these weeds we can help the rainforest regrow. 

Measuring natural regeneration 

Our contribution

To ensure this vital work takes place, we're contributing $150,000 in funding and in-kind activities to projects run by two local Landcare groups already working to restore and link rainforest from Wilsons and Coopers Creeks to the surrounds of Nightcap, Mount Jerusalem and Goonengerry National Parks. These projects are being carried out as part of the NSW Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation program.

Through assisted natural regeneration, enrichment tree planting (2900 trees in total) and the installation of artificial structural habitat for threatened fauna, projects led by Goonengerry and Wilson's Creek Landcare groups will rehabilitate a total of 48 hectares of Big Scrub Rainforest by September 2025.

Have we done this before?

Our staff and the contractors that help us have decades of experience in restoring the subtropical rainforest of the Big Scrub. For this project, we have engaged the specialist services of Northern Rivers Ecology. 


$5,860 raised
Towards our $150,000 fundraising target
  • Amount 1
  • Your Info 2
  • Payment 3
Back Next
You are donating $50.00