Action: Establish 150,000 trees to restore degraded rainforest, install artificial structural habitats for threatened fauna 

Location: 78 hectares in Wilsons Creek-Huonbrook and Goonengerry, Northern NSW 

Habitat: Lowland Subtropical Rainforest

Threatened species: More than 30 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.

Project Overview

Over 30 million rainforest trees were destroyed when the Big Scrub Rainforest was cleared to make way for agriculture. That released an enormous amount of carbon into the atmosphere.

It's time to put the carbon back into the trees.

Alongside Landcare and the contributions of private landholders, Rainforest Rangers is working to establish 150,000 trees across two project areas, Wilsons Creek-Huonbrook and Goonengerry, which together span a total of 78 hectares.

The rehabilitation of these sites – with funding from the NSW Environmental Trust – and supported by up to 595 volunteer hours and $149,960 in funding from Rainforest Rangers will build climate resilience, improve landscape connectivity for threatened and unique wildlife and help mitigate the effects of climate change in Northern NSW.

We have a proven method to achieve this, through scientifically backed assisted natural regeneration techniques, and work has been progressing since 2022. But to keep boots on the ground carrying out this important work, we need your help. Through assisted natural regeneration we can take your donation dollar further, and provide powerful restoration impacts for as little as $1 a tree.

Just $1 per tree?

Yes! We have a proven method in this region to achieve this, through science-backed assisted natural regeneration techniques. But to keep boots on the ground, we need your help.

The Problem

The Big Scrub Rainforest was once covered 75,000 hectares in Northern NSW between Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and the Nightcap Range to the west. 

Through clearing for agriculture between 1870 and 1910 the rainforest was dramatically reduced to less than 1% of its former size. Now only small small remnants or ‘islands’ of rainforest habitat remain. 

The fragmentation of this sub-tropical rainforest ecosystems has detrimental effects on biodiversity. An increase in wind  at the edge of these habitats reduces humidity and creates a change in the microclimate. This results in a changed composition of animal and plant species, with fewer rainforest specialists and higher vulnerability to an invasion of weeds. Movement between patches of rainforest also becomes risky for animals and they are more likely to experience increased predation or deaths from vehicle strikes. 

Loss of biodiversity has a dramatic ripple effect, which results in less healthy, less resilient landscapes. This is being compounded by the impacts of climate change, which is introducing significant new challenges such as more frequent and intense fires, and reduced rainfall.

Through this project we're reversing the impacts of habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation by restoring and linking rainforest from Wilsons and Coopers Creeks to the surrounds of Nightcap, Mount Jerusalem and Goonengerry National Parks.

The rehabilitation of these sites will also build climate resilience, improve landscape connectivity for threatened and unique wildlife.

Importantly, your support will help mitigate the effects of climate change through sequestering carbon in trees. 

Through assisted natural regeneration we are restoring native rainforest in places that have been taken over by invasive weed species like camphor laurels.

The Solution

By giving today, you can be part of a leading solution in rainforest restoration that has the power to take your generous donation further.

Assisted natural regeneration is the most efficient way of restoring the Big Scrub Rainforest in Northern NSW. It is far more effective and inexpensive than planting and maintaining trees. 

To expand the area of available habitat and restore biodiversity we need to manage vegetation in the landscape. Many native species of rainforest trees produce fleshy fruits that attract birds and bats, which consume the fruit and spread the seeds. Other tree species have their seeds dispersed by the wind. Exotic plants often block and disrupt the favourable conditions they need to germinate, so by removing these environmental weeds we can help the rainforest regrow.

By strategically removing and/or controlling dominant weed species such as camphor laurels and lantana, the conditions for native rainforest plants to germinate can be created, either from the existing seed bank or from seeds dispersed by perching birds or blown in on winds. 

It sounds simple, but close to 50 years have been put into perfecting the science-backed Assisted Natural Regeneration strategy and technique. 

The work is undertaken by skilled practitioners with decades of experience in knowing the right time of year, the correct conditions, wed control techniques, and who have the ability to identify hundreds of species of native and exotic plant species.

To keep boots on the ground, we need your help.

Please, act now and donate to take meaningful and effective action to restore degraded rainforest in Northern NSW and put the carbon back into trees.

The techniques of assisted natural regeneration produce thousands of trees. 



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