Penrith champions nature conservation

Mulgoa Valley Landcare Group president Lisa Harrold, local landowners Henry Cook, Kerry Spurrett and Scott Bailey, and Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen at the Land for Wildlife launch.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Penrith City Council is delivering a raft of conservation initiatives and events, showing residents how they can continue to play a crucial role in protecting and preserving the environment.

Council’s work is being complemented by another great program which has just been launched in the Penrith Local Government Area (LGA), giving landowners a chance to help conserve and protect wildlife on their properties.

Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen said the community’s uptake and involvement in these programs is proof that the City is committed to conservation.

“Penrith City Council is passionate about biodiversity and doing our utmost to sustain our community’s array of native flora and fauna, so it is fantastic to see we have people right here in our City who care about wildlife and vegetation,” Cr Hitchen said.

The owners of seven acreage properties have volunteered to take part in the Land for Wildlife scheme, a biodiversity initiative co-ordinated by the Community Environment Network in partnership with the NSW Government’s Office of Environment and Heritage. It is delivered at a local level by non-profit organisations and designed to support residents who are eager to learn about managing wildlife in their own backyard.

Landowners are required to have one acre of good quality bushland and have their property assessed for suitable nature conservation before being accepted into the scheme.

Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen visited the heritage-listed Fairlight Homestead in Mulgoa on Tuesday 5 April for Penrith’s Land for Wildlife launch. This was hosted by Mulgoa Valley Landcare Group president, Lisa Harrold, who is the approved coordinator of the Penrith LGA’s Land for Wildlife program.

During the launch, the Mayor presented volunteers with their Land for Wildlife signs and thanked the landowners for choosing to be local leaders by championing a great cause.
“I commend these landowners for taking initiative and choosing to volunteer their properties as places where bushland will become habitat and wildlife can be protected,” Cr Hitchen said.
“Penrith is unique in the way it covers a vast footprint with high-density urban pockets through to sprawling rural estates – this gives us a rare opportunity and we need to maximise our efforts on those larger blocks of land.

“Council has many of our own biodiversity initiatives and we are always thrilled when community members share the same eagerness to make a difference and protect a significant part of what makes our City special.”

As part of the Land for Wildlife program, landowners can apply for up to $2,000 in grant funding. This enables them to undertake various nature conservation activities, such as removing and controlling weeds, establishing new nature strips and more generally improving biodiversity.

Regentville residents Scott and Suzanne Bailey call their Factory Road property their “piece of paradise” – a private parcel of land where wombats and wallabies are welcome, where ring-tailed possums build nests in the trees, and where they have even sighted a platypus as they enjoy a portion of the School House Creek.

The pair loves to encourage visitors in all forms and have planted small shrubs to provide nectar for the honeyeaters. In recent years, the couple added up to 500 new plants but sadly lost more than half in the latest flood event as excessive rain and water swept through the property.

“What we are now trying to do is stop the erosion,” Mr Bailey said, adding that grant funding would assist in their efforts to restore habitat on their land.

The local volunteers now plan to erect their Land for Wildlife signs at the entrance to their properties to encourage others to take part in the program.
Mulgoa Valley Landcare Group’s Lisa Harrold said she was pleased to have seven property owners on board so far, and hoped it set a precedent for the rest of the City.

“It’s really important to support landowners that are willing and ready to conserve parts of their property for wildlife and habitat,” she said.

“Although we are the regional coordinating group, we’d love to include other sectors of the Penrith LGA and we encourage residents to get involved – we hope that with seven properties up and running, we can set a benchmark to work towards each year.”

Find out more about Land for Wildlife at

To read more about Council’s biodiversity work, visit You can also sign up to the Bushcare Bulletin at

Photo caption: Mulgoa Valley Landcare Group president Lisa Harrold, local landowners Henry Cook, Kerry Spurrett and Scott Bailey, and Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen at the Land for Wildlife launch.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Tuesday, 19 April 2022.