Natural environment and biodiversity

Hepburn Shire Council Plan 2021-25(PDF, 5MB) commits to: 

  • Prioritising environmental management, protection and regeneration 

  • Protecting and regenerating the natural resources of the Shire including the soils, water and ecological systems from both current and future threats.

A key activity of the Council to achieve this objective is to 'take proactive steps to protect, maintain and enhance biodiversity, including rare/endangered species and wildlife corridors, and reduction of weeds on Council land while minimising herbicide use. Partner with other stakeholders to achieve greater weed management outcomes shire-wide’. 

Supporting actions to achieve this are: 

  • Implement the Natural environment and biodiversity action plan within Sustainable Hepburn 2022-26

  • Implement actions to increase Council’s control and management of noxious weeds on reserves and roadsides under council management. 

See below some of the work that Council is leading in this area. For more information visit Artisan Agriculture or our Healthy Landscapes pages.

Biodiversity grants

Applications for the 2023 Hepburn Shire Biodiversity Grants are open until Friday 9 June 2023. We will announce the successful applicants in coming months and look forward to working with them. For more information and to apply visit our grants page

Indigenous plant guide

Indigenous plants are not only native to Australia, but they are plants that occur naturally in your local area. These plants are an important source of food and shelter for local fauna. They have co-evolved with the local environment so they can survive local rainfall patterns and soils.

Using indigenous plants also:

  • Helps preserve the local plant populations

  • Can save water and money

  • Enhance wildlife corridors and provide links between fragmented bushland areas

  • Contribute to the distinctive local character of the Hepburn Shire

And they look great too!

Read a list of species suitable for gardens below:  

Indigenous plant guide - pdf version(PDF, 961KB)

Indigenous plant guide - word document(DOCX, 578KB).

Managing gorse and rabbits - the Virtual Extension Officer

The Virtual Extension officer tool has been developed to help people identify options for controlling gorse, rabbits and Serrated Tussock.

Gorse and rabbits are among the most important agricultural and environmental pests in the Shire. Serrated Tussock is an emerging weed in the Shire.

The Virtual Extension Officer includes videos, downloads and links.

Visit the Virtual Extension Officer site.

Threatened species in Hepburn Shire

Over 130 plants and animals in Hepburn Shire are classified as threatened in Australia or Victoria.

Click here to see a list(PDF, 251KB)


Great Aussie Birdwatch Results

Hepburn Shire Council has supported the Birdlife Australia Aussie Bird count since 2020.

The following are the final reports compiled by Birdlife Australia. These document high levels of participation and important ecological data resulting from this annual week-long citizen science event. 

 What are the most commonly recorded birds in Hepburn Shire? What are the rarest? Where are our Shire's most active birdwatchers?  Read these to find out!

2022 Aussie Bird Count - Shire of Hepburn(PDF, 37MB)

2021 Aussie Bird Count - Shire of Hepburn(PDF, 6MB)

2020-Aussie Bird Count - Shire of Hepburn(PDF, 29MB)

Become a Nature Steward and get active for the environment

Nature Stewards is an educational short course which aims to foster a connection with nature and provide ways to get active for the environment.

In autumn, 2024 Hepburn Shire Council will co-host the Nature Stewards program in partnership with the Mitchell and Macedon Ranges Shires and the Victorian National Parks Association.

The 10-week program will allow everyday people to discover more about their local environment, connect them with others in their community, and help them learn how to volunteer for nature as a citizen scientist, advocate for nature or a nature guide.

Dates: March 16th– 25th May 2024, (excluding Easter long weekend)

Duration: 10 weekly class sessions Saturday mornings 9.30am -12.30pm and four to six field sessions 1.30pm-4.30pm

Cost: for Hepburn, Mitchell and Macedon residents $175 full fee; $45 Concession (health care card holder; full time student; pensioner)

Where Autumn 2024 locations: near Daylesford (Leonards Hill), Beveridge and Woodend.

For more information and to apply press Here

Applications Close 3rd March 2024