Insects of the Cumberland Plain

  • 23 Sep 2022

Insects of the Cumberland Plain

Researchers from the University of Sydney have set up bee hotels within the Figtree Hill conservation areas, as part of a study into the regeneration of the Cumberland Plain Woodland. The conservation areas within Figtree Hill cover 22 hectares and form part of a regeneration and management program being undertaken by Lendlease.

The bee hotels, also known as trap nests, will help researchers investigate the impact of pollinating insects, such as native bees, butterflies, and hoverflies, on the restoration of the woodland.

Researchers are using the Macarthur-Onslow and Hillsborough conservation areas that have been previously impacted from farming. Whilst some areas are showing signs of natural regeneration, other areas will require ongoing repair to remove exotic weeds and planting to recreate habitat.

The Cumberland Plain Woodland is characterised by an open tree canopy and groundcovers dominated by grasses and herbs, sometimes with layers of shrubs.

The gentle slopes and fertile soils of the woodland meant that it was appealing for European settlers to clear for timber and farming. Over half of the Cumberland Plain Woodland was lost by 1850. Areas such as Figtree Hill were cleared from 1812 when landowners started growing wheat and grazing cattle.

However, through investment, expertise and ongoing management, the conservation areas will be regenerated to improve biodiversity having a positive impact for the woodland pollinators.

Learn more about our research program