Mcbride Margaret Smith - Australian Wildlife Charity - FNPW Image Courtesy of Margaret McBride

Private Land Conservation Grants


  • YEAR: 2012
  • STATE: New South Wales
  • FOCUS AREAS: Saving Species/SDG 13: Climate action/SDG 14 : Life below water/SDG 15: Life on Land

The Private Land Conservation Grants program has been offering grants to owners of properties protected under conservation agreements since 2008. By the end of 2017, the program allocated over $2 million to private landowners in New South Wales to support conservation works on their own lands.

FNPW support

This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.

Major sponsor: New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust

PLCG funding partners: Paddy Pallin Foundation, Humane Society International, Diversicon Environmental Foundation, Community Environment Network

Project overview

Since the inception of PLCG, the FNPW has raised, managed and allocated over $2 million to Australian land owners. 

FNPW’s Private Land Conservation Grants program has been offering grants to owners of properties protected under conservation agreements since 2008. To date, the program has provided 437 grants totalling more than $2.3 million to support private landholders undertaking conservation works on their own properties. With 80% of rainforests gone and the remainder fast disappearing, along with many threatened native wildlife, it is more important than ever to make a change.

With the majority of land in Australia, including in New South Wales, in private ownership, this conservation program is an important complement to the public National Park system. Importantly, private conservation land connects habitats across the state by creating wildlife corridors between National Parks, improving their resilience and integrity. The provision of financial support for private land conservation activities encourages landholders to increase their commitment to protect the conservation values of their land and raise awareness as well as educating the public about conserving Australia’s natural habitat.

It is recognised that Australia’s biodiversity cannot be conserved purely through National Parks and other areas within the public reserve system. For this reason, conservation efforts on private land need to be encouraged and promoted.

In 2012, the Foundation was awarded $2 million in funding spread over six years to 2017. This funding came through the NSW Environmental Trust on behalf of the NSW State Government. The aim of the extra funding is to expand the Private Land Grants Program to include different types of conservation agreements and some practical community education programs.

The FNPW has been running the PLCG program since 2008, with the valuable support of their project partners. Through the PLCG Program, FNPW have been providing small grants to support NSW landowners who have a conservation protection mechanism on their land and for education and training in conservation. FNPW created the PLCG program to increase the amount of high value conservation areas on private land and to educate and encourage community members to actively participate in bush regeneration.

What are Private Land Conservation Grants?

The PLCG program supports landholders to conduct activities which enhance the biodiversity conservation value of their registered properties. Each of the grants are only available to those who have a conservation protection mechanism on their land.

The projects supported by the PLCG Program can be used to:

  • Maintain or improve conservation value of land and the local flora and fauna
  • Protect and prevent degradation of habitat
  • Increase and improve habitat connectivity
  • Provide landholder training in conservation
McBride Margaret PAWS2 - Wildlife Fundraising Australia - FNPW Image courtesy of Margaret McBride


FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation the we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

Image courtesy of Steve Haslam


The project was completed in 2021.

DOWNLOAD: FNPW Private Land Conservation research report – FINAL

PLCG Program grants administered by the Foundation for NSW landholders will be completed in 2021. These types of grants are now available through the Biodiversity Conservation Trust. Find out more information about the grants available through the Biodiversity Conservation Trust

Header Paws Med - Fundraising for Australian Wildlife - FNPW


FNPW is the lead organisation for this project.

Major sponsor: New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust

PLCG funding partners: Paddy Pallin Foundation, Humane Society International, Diversicon Environmental Foundation, Community Environment Network

PLCG Success Story: White Leeds Arid Wetlands

Margaret McBride of White Leeds Arid Wetlands in Broken Hill is one of 56 individuals and groups who received a 2017 Private Land Conservation Grant for outstanding conservation efforts. Margaret received funds over three years for projects assisting bush regeneration, including weed control, and activities supporting the recovery of threatened species.

“White Leeds is dedicated to conserving endemic and threatened native species and developing an environmental playground for research and education,” says project coordinator Grant Smith. “Along with the natural regeneration that has occurred, current funding will assist in improving the natural habitat for flora and fauna where pepper trees have been removed and also other degraded areas of the property as outlined in our grant application. Already we have seen a sharp increase in species and breeding recorded on White Leeds.”

“This Broken Hill property has a Conservation Agreement with the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage for two protected 100ha areas and is recognized as a Wildlife Refuge. This grant will help Margaret realise her plans for conservation on her own land.” said FNPW CEO Ian Darbyshire.

PLCG Success Story: Steve Haslam

Image courtesy of Steve Haslam

PLCG Success Story: Rainridge Wildlife Refuge

Having bought their beautiful property on the Central Coast (Wamberal) of New South Wales in 2001, Tom and Ann Raine were quick to notice the original bushland area was covered in several noxious, damaging weeds. They immediately set about transforming their once 4.5 hectares of grassy paddocks and run-down bushland into part native garden and restored bushland –  with the most apt of names  – ‘Rainridge Wildlife Refuge’.

The Raines’ received a grant over three years from 2013 to 2016, to restore a significant wildlife area on their land. As a result, Tom and Ann were able to engage a bush regeneration company to carefully clear large areas of thick, weedy bush, which has allowed native plants to flourish. This has had a dramatically positive flow on effect to the animals that were native to the area, as it encouraged them back. Some of these impressive animals include: wallabies, possums, Beautiful Firetails and around 40 other Australian birds.

The removal of the thick privet and Lantana weeds has reduced the number of Bell Mynas, which while a native species, can aggressively take over areas and lead to the die back of eucalyptus trees which are necessary for the survival of other native species.

Tom and Ann have done an outstanding job transforming their property into a haven for native plants and animals. They often run open days, host bushcare groups and have even been featured on the ABC program Gardening Australia.

Mrs Raine said they had managed to preserve the bush on their 4.5ha property with this funding boost.

“Without the grant it would have been much harder and not as effective,” she said in 2015, the final year of the grant.   We came here years ago and a lot of the bush was cleared and what wasn’t had lantana, privet and other environmental weeds. We have cleared and regenerated but still have parts that haven’t been cleared and that’s why the grants have been very helpful.  It is good to get the extra help as we need to do as much to preserve the environment as we can.”

Throughout the years they have planted more than 3000 trees. As a result of the regeneration, native plants are flourishing. This also has a flow-on effect to the native animals and encourages them back into the area.

Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife Chief Executive Ian Darbyshire said it was wonderful to see what PLC grant recipients achieve with a little support.

“They are doing an absolutely outstanding job to ensure their properties are havens for native plants and animals and creating green corridors for safe passage for wildlife,” he said.