Living Connections

Since 2019, Council has been delivering the Living Connections program, with funding from the NSW Environmental Trust. Working together with 160 private gardens, three schools, Council reserves and community gardens, this program has successfully supported links across the Bronte and Tamarama habitat corridors through the creation of small bird habitat and biodiversity friendly gardens.

Participating residents received expert garden advice and native plant seedlings of different heights, structure, and flowering times. Over 5000 seedlings were planted, including Westringia fruticose; Correa alba; Phebalium squamulosum; Baeckea linifolia and Melaleuca nodosa.

Program participants have reported increased knowledge about identifying small birds and their habitat, as well as an increase in insects and small animals visiting their gardens. Over time, as the new plants mature, we hope to track an increase in key local species such as the Superb Fairy Wrens and New Holland Honeyeaters.

Many participants have gone on to add further native plants other vital habitat elements to their gardens, such as bird baths, mulch rocks and logs, using information and guidance developed through the program.

Building on this success, Council is now working to open the Living Connections program across the whole Local Government Area. Keep an eye out next year for how to apply!

Living Connections is not just connecting habitat, many participants have reported new connections and conversations with neighbours because of their Living Connections fence sign and new gardening activity!

Read more about some of the Living Connection Participants and their gardens.

Why did we implement this program?

Habitat corridors in Waverley are extremely fragmented making it hard for wildlife to move around to feed and reproduce. Our small birds like the Superb fairy-wren and the New Holland honeyeater are now confined to the coastal reserves and rarely seen in our gardens. Private gardens are essential for reconnecting habitat and creating a healthy thriving neighbourhood.

Want to learn more?

Small Birds need Big Love article

Could our Love of Large Colourful Grevilleas be Hurting our Wildlife?


Garden graphic describing desirable habitat elements



NSW government logo This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.


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    commented on Living Connections 2020-04-14 07:35:11 +1000
    Hi Vicky,

    As I am a Bronte resident with a large garden, a friend sent me the Waverley Council Living Connections email. I am interested in making contact, as for some time I have been concerned at the diminishing bird diversity in my area. My home is in Bronte Rd, and my garden is an extension of Bronte Gully, so is definitely a wildlife corridor from the gully to the beach.

    I have lived here for about 23 years and for many years there was an incredible diversity of birds that visited my garden. As there are a variety plants including bushes and trees, many native, I believe it is not the vegetation that is the problem, but an increase in the number of aggressive birds (Noisy Minor and Butcher birds) that have driven the other species away. I have actually seen this in action over the years. As these birds have no predators, their numbers have increased and as a result, the other birds which live and visit the garden, have decreased. So I write to you to see if there is a solution to this problem?

    Kind Regards,