The Town's Natural Areas

1. Overview

The Town of Cambridge is fortunate to be situated in a region consisting of natural areas, including remnant bushland, wetlands, coastal dunes and an A-class reserve. 

We therefore have a responsibility to protect these natural areas, to ensure biodiversity is preserved and that future generations can enjoy a rich environment that supports a wide variety of living things. 

Find out about the Town's natural areas and what we can all do to protect and preserve these areas.

To find out more about how friends groups can work with the Town to improve and protect natural areas download a copy of the Town of Cambridge Friends Group Manual(PDF, 11MB)

There are 12 remnant bushland areas within the Town covering 42 hectares, including the following:

  • Challenger Park
  • Chipping Park
  • Drabble Park
  • Durston Park
  • Fred Burton Park
  • Frinton Park
  • Helston Park
  • Maloney Park
  • Malton Park
  • Ocean Village Park
  • Roscommon Nature Reserve
  • Templetonia Park

Remnant vegetation can also be found within Bold Park, The Coastal Dunes, Perry Lakes, Lake Monger Reserve, Wembley Golf Course, Bold Park Aquatic Centre and The Quarry Amphitheatre. Management plans exist for Bold Park (under the management of Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority), The Coastal Dunes, Perry Lakes Reserve, Lake Monger Reserve and Wembley Golf Course.

The Town's Natural Area Strategy provides strategic direction for the management of local areas over the next 10 years. The strategy identifies the key threats to the Town’s natural areas and provides management recommendations to address threatening processes.

Download the strategy here(PDF, 3MB).

 

2. Backyard Biodiversity

Including local native plants in the garden and creating habitat for wildlife is a great way to boost local biodiversity.

Invite nature into your backyard with the following tools and initiatives:

  • Visit the Water Corporation website for a handy search tool for finding plants that grow best in the area where you live.
  • The Town has coastal and west coastal planting guides which provide excellent species lists that include vegetation height, flower colour, flower timing and other tips such as whether the species is bird or butterfly attracting. 
  • Each year the Town of Cambridge in partnership with WESROC offers the opportunity for residents to purchase local native seedlings for a subsidised price through the Native Plant Subsidy Scheme.

3. Threats to Natural Areas

There are a number of threats to natural areas that diminish biodiversity.

The Biodiversity Action Plan addresses the following key threats to the biodiversity value of the Town's natural areas. 

  • Introduced species - Weeds pose a significant threat to natural areas. They compete with native species for space, nutrients and light, altering the structure of an ecosystem and reducing its biodiversity value. Feral animals such as rabbits, foxes and feral cats also significantly impact biodiversity by competing with local native species for resources and through predation.
  • Illegal dumping - Illegal dumping of garden waste can introduce pests and weeds into our natural areas. Dumping of building and other materials also smothers native vegetation and damages habitats for native animals.
  • Uncontrolled access - Straying off established paths results in trampling of vegetation and introduces weeds into natural areas which threaten biodiversity.
  • Fire - Repeated fires overwhelm the capacity of an ecosystem to recover and can result in species reductions or loss. Fire can also alter vegetation structure adversely affecting biodiversity.
  • Algal blooms - Algal blooms are a natural phenomenon that may occur in water bodies during the hotter months of the year and can become harmful to humans and animals.

Algal Blooms – Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What is an algal bloom

Algal blooms are a natural phenomenon that can occur in water bodies, usually during the hotter months of the year. The term algal bloom may be used to describe macroalgae which are large visible plants in waterways or microalgae which are microscopic but become visible, to the naked eye, when growing in mass.

Q. What causes algal blooms

Elevated temperatures, minimal rainfall, still water and high levels of nutrients within a water body, can combine to change the physical composition of the water and lead to an algal bloom.

Further information can be found here: Algal blooms | Western Australian Government (www.wa.gov.au)

Q. Are algal blooms harmful?

Some algal blooms can become toxic and have the potential to harm wildlife and humans.

Possible health problems caused by contact with an algal bloom include skin rashes, eye irritation and redness, earaches, itchiness, hay fever and asthma.

Further information can be found here: Algal blooms (healthywa.wa.gov.au)

Q. What is Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)?

Cyanobacteria is a type of microscopic, single celled, algae-like bacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. If Cyanobacteria levels increase to form visible blooms during suitable conditions, it can lead to poor water quality and toxicity.

Further information can be found here: Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) (waterquality.gov.au)  

Q. What should I do during an algal bloom?

Do not make contact with or drink the water and do not touch any scum around the bank; if contact does occur, rinse it off. Ensure your animals do not drink or go in the water. If your dog goes in the water, hose it down before it licks it’s coat.

Further information can be found here: Algal Bloom Fact sheet (www.wa.gov.au)

Q. What is the Town doing about algal blooms?

Algal blooms are an ongoing environmental management issue with no short-term solution. The Town is actively revegetating the banks of Lake Monger (Galup) and Perry Lakes, to help improve the water quality. Lake water quality is monitored throughout the year, to aid in identifying any water quality issues and informing management actions. If a blue-green algae bloom is detected in either of these lakes, the Town will place caution signs at various locations, around the affected lake.

In 2023, with funding from the Government of Western Australia’s Greening our Communities small grant program, the Town completed a major refurbishment of the swale at Lake Monger (Galup). The objective was to rehabilitate natural areas and refurbish the nutrient stripping channels on the east side of the lake to improve the quality of stormwater entering the lake. It is expected that this will reduce the frequency and severity of potential algal bloom events.

Further information can be found here: https://www.cambridge.wa.gov.au/Town-Council/Works-Projects/Lake-Monger-Galup-Reserve-Swale-Refurbishment  

 

Q. What can be done if birds and other water dwelling animals become sick from an algal bloom?

If you find a sick or injured animal please contact the relevant wildlife organisation listed on this page: https://www.cambridge.wa.gov.au/Resident/Pets-Animals/Wildlife

Q. What can I do to help reduce instances of algal blooms?

Be conscious of what goes down the drain. By following a few simple actions, you can reduce the amount of nutrients going into our drains, such as:

  • Follow this guide to fertilising - https://www.sercul.org.au/our-projects/fertilise-wise/
  • Dispose of grass clippings, weeds and garden prunings in your Green bin.
  • Replace lawns with local native plants.
  • Pick up after your pet.
  • Avoid washing your car with detergent in the driveway or street.

Join your local Lake Friends Group to assist with the conservation of our wetland environments:  Friends of Galup/Lake Monger or Friends of Perry Lakes

4. Volunteering Opportunities

There are a number of friends groups that work in the Town's natural areas.

If would like to contribute to the conservation of your local spot please make contact with one of the groups below:

Cambridge Coastcare   Send email   Visit website  
Friends of Bold Park Bushland   Send email  Visit website  
Friends of Galup-Lake Monger  Send email Visit website
Friends of Ocean Village Park  Send email  
Friends of Perry Lakes   Send email Visit website
Friends of Roscommon Send email   

Download a copy of the Town of Cambridge Friends Group Manual here(PDF, 11MB).

Or get in touch with the Town's Sustainability team to discuss your conservation ideas: Send email

5. Greening Our Town

Retaining native vegetation and improving links between the Town's remnant bushland and remnants regionally is important to maintain and improve green corridors in the western suburbs. Greening the Town requires both a local and regional approach.

The Urban Forest

It is now widely recognised that increasing density and clearing for development has led to a significant decline in native vegetation across Perth, particularly a decline in trees. The Town aims to prevent further decline and improve native vegetation through the Street Tree Program and the Biodiversity Action Plan. The Town is also gathering information to assist in the development of an Urban Forest Strategy which will provide strategic direction for the maintenance and enhancement of the Town's green infrastructure.

Green corridors

The Western Suburbs Greening Plan is a strategic document developed with the WESROC councils to establish green corridors in the western suburbs and improve remnant vegetation connectivity in the urban environment.