Media Release: Local landcare leads the way for resilient environments and communities in the Hunter

Luskintyre Landcare member John Schultz has seen a great deal of change occur in Maitland in his lifetime, but the changes that have occurred over the last three years have impacted the landscape and local environment in a dramatic way not seen previously.

Drought, bushfires, floods and growing urbanisation have had a massive impact on native species with more and more species being pushed to the fringes, and into isolated ecological areas to survive.

Yet the local landcare community have come together and their efforts have helped to mitigate the impact on the landscape and environment, especially along vital waterway habitat corridors.

“Over the last three years we have planted over 60 different species local to the area. With support from the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants, we extended existing wildlife corridors and planted over 16,000 tree and shrub species to support native habitat recovery,” John Schultz says.

“Our landcare work is helping to restore and enhance native species so they have a future and we’ve noticed changes already. The trees may be 20 years away from being mature, however we have already observed an increase in birds and other native animals visiting the corridors,” said John.

“Much of our riparian restoration activity has been impacted by the flooding so it’s great to see the tree corridors provide a safe refuge during extreme weather events.

The local landcare group said that the changes in the way people can now get involved to support the local environment have been a major driver in getting the project, and many others that they facilitate, over the line despite the challenges in recent years.

John said as people become more aware of the environment and their impact on it, they are joining their Landcare group to help make a positive contribution to their environment.

“We’ve noticed an increase in people wanting to become members of Luskintyre Landcare in recent years.  Landcare is a great way you can get involved as a volunteer to do something that will make an immediate, and a long-term impact, and you can help support and connect with your local community too.”

Funded by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat, the $14 million Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants are supporting projects in regions impacted by the Black Summer bushfires of 2019–20. For further information visit

About the project: This project has extended two existing wildlife corridors in the Hunter region, revegetated around two water bodies, one of which is zoned E2 and created stepping stones across 9 farms, covering approximately 15 hectares. Over 10,000 native plants including trees, understory and ground cover were planted to increase habitat for all native species including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians that have been displaced by clearing or fires and rely on the diverse vegetation structure. The project is aimed at enhancing the recovery and maximise the resilience of fire-affected native plant and animal species, ecological communities, and natural assets within the seven regions identified as most impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires.

Available for interview:

Name: John Schultz



Samantha Stratton / Landcare NSW /

Hunter Regional Landcarer awarded Life Membership with Landcare NSW

Long-time Landcarer, John Hughson, has been awarded Honorary Life Membership at the 2021 Landcare NSW Annual General Meeting in recognition of his service to Landcare NSW and the Landcare movement.  

 Landcare NSW Chair, Stephanie Cameron praised John’s commitment to Landcare on a state, regional and local level.  

 “John has been involved with Landcare for over 25 years and has worked to develop, and champion,  Landcare at a local, district, and regional level contributing to a legacy of strong, well-established and supported groups in Lake Macquarie and the Hunter,” Ms Cameron said.  

 As the convenor of the first Landcare NSW Gathering at Myuna Bay on the shores of Lake Macquarie in 2007, John was one of the main drivers behind setting up Landcare NSW as the state peak body for community Landcare in NSW.  

 Ms Cameron thanked John for his role as a foundation member of Landcare NSW.  

 “The time and dedication John has brought to the Landcare movement in NSW and Landcare NSW over the years, has helped strengthen the foundation of Landcare NSW.  We wouldn’t be where we are today without individuals such as John who had the vision to see what we could achieve as a state-wide movement,” Ms Cameron said. 

 John went on to represent the Hunter region at the state level on the Landcare NSW Council for over a decade and served on Landcare NSW’s Executive Committee.  

 John’s many Landcare roles have included two stints as Chair of the Hunter Region Landcare Network, when it first formed, and again after 14 years as Landcare Coordinator with Lake Macquarie City Council.  

After more than 25 years, supporting the Landcare movement, and the many champions involved in it, John is now self-employed providing Landcare facilitation and training in conservation and land management. 



Jodie Lovell – 0439 316 151