GER’s Illawarra to Shoalhaven (I2S) partnership and the Berry Landcare Group have been working for over twenty years to restore and maintain an important patch of rainforest adjoining the David Berry Memorial Hospital. Through their efforts, this formally little-known patch of habitat has been restored to the point where it is now officially recognised as Illawarra Lowland Subtropical Rainforest, an Ecological Endangered Community.
With only small fragments of this Ecological Endangered Community remaining in the Shoalhaven, the Berry Rainforest holds conservation value as an important stepping-stone in the Berry Regional Corridor. With very few of these rainforest remnants protected, I2S recognised the need to promote the value of the habitat to the broader community and the importance of conserving it.
To provide further protection for the rainforest, I2S provided information on its values to the Shoalhaven Local Council who upgraded their biodiversity mapping layer as a result and have also been working to raise awareness of the site amongst hospital administrators in the hope that they will take actions to reduce threats to its survival.
This case study clearly demonstrates how the collaborative, long-term efforts of local communities and groups can reverse landscape degradation and help save vital habitat.