WHAT'S ON

In 2020 National Landcare Week runs from August 3 to 9

Awareness: Claudia Wythes from the Watershed Landcare said their strength is due to people wanting to share knowledge and experience of the land. Photo: Supplied

Awareness: Claudia Wythes from the Watershed Landcare said their strength is due to people wanting to share knowledge and experience of the land. Photo: Supplied

Next month, a national campaign will celebrate and acknowledge the thousands of landcare networks, volunteers and groups who are working hard in Australian conservation.

This year National Landcare Week will run from August 3 to 9 and celebrates the strength of landcare and its ability to support the needs of a diverse community and respond to issues, such as drought and bush fires.

To be able to do this Landcare often partners with a range of groups, government agencies and non-profit organisations.

In 2019 Landcare NSW partnered with the Local Land Services to deliver the new Landcare NSW Program.

The program aims to improve the health of our environment and natural resources through greater participation in Landcare activities.

As part of the program, 72 part-time local coordinators and 12 regional coordinators across NSW are employed to support Landcare initiatives from grass roots activities to regional scale activities.

Members of Watershed Landcare operate across the Mudgee, Kandos and Rylstone areas and coordinator Claudia Wythes said despite the challenges COVID-19 has brought, they are still working towards creating a better environment.

"At the end of the day it doesn't matter if you're a small or large landholder or someone who lives in town, the environment is precious to us all," Ms Wythes said.

"We all rely on the environment and people have seen the pressures that have been placed through the drought and fires. There are lots of opportunities for people to get involved.. it doesn't matter whether you've been on the land all of your life or you're new. Landcare has the opportunity to support everyone's skill level."

The management committee developed a COVID-19 strategy to work out the practical steps needed to hold appropriate gatherings once restrictions started easing.

While COVID-19 has had an impact on planned Landcare group activities due to social distancing rules, this year the week long campaign offers the chance to reflect on the diverse range of activities that Landcare carries out in local communities.

Tracee Burke is from the Mid-Lachlan Landcare group, which covers the Cowra, Canowindra and Eugowra. Photo: Supplied

Tracee Burke is from the Mid-Lachlan Landcare group, which covers the Cowra, Canowindra and Eugowra. Photo: Supplied

Ms Wythes said one of Landcare's strengths is that members and volunteers enjoy sharing knowledge and their experiences with others.

"If you give people the opportunity to be involved the they really want to take it," she added.

"One of the challenges, not just for landcare, but through COVID-19, is that there are so many things that at the end of the day are not essential. For us it's about connecting people to opportunities we may not have had normally..."

Tracee Burke is from the Mid-Lachlan Landcare group, which covers the Cowra, Canowindra and Eugowra region said despite the pandemic causing many events being cancelled they have managed to make it work by holding Zoom meetings.

"We're surprised with how well it has worked and how it's kept out community connect," she said.

"In some ways it has helped to strengthen peoples relationships a little bit I think."

While every week is National Landcare Week for Ms Burke, she said it's important to promote landcare to the wider community.

"Every week I get to.... work with fantastic farmers and community members who are doing wonderful things to try improve the environment and their farm," she said.