© David Warth

big scrub rainforest conservancy

Formerly Big Scrub Landcare, we are one of Australia’s most successful not-for-profit community conservation organisations.

We help save from extinction Australia’s critically endangered lowland subtropical rainforest and its many threatened species.

We are the Voice of the Rainforest.


Welcome to the Big Scrub

The “Big Scrub” was once the largest area of lowland subtropical rainforest in Australia: it covered 75,000 ha in the hinterland of Byron Bay, until cleared by European settlers. Today, only 1% of this once mighty rainforest remains.

Despite this devastation, its remnants retain the highest proportion of Gondwana-descended species of any rainforest in Australia, with many lineages dating back more than 180 million years. Home to the richest terrestrial biodiversity in NSW – the third richest in Australia – it’s an ancient, complex ecosystem of immense ecological and cultural value.

Science Saving Rainforests

Our ground-breaking Science Saving Rainforests program analyses the genomes of 60 species occurring in critically endangered lowland subtropical rainforest based on DNA sequencing of more than 10,000 leaf samples.

These genome analyses will inform the establishment of a multi-species living seed bank plantation that will produce planting stock with optimal genetic diversity for restoration plantings to help save from extinction our critically endangered lowland subtropical rainforest and its threatened species.


Koalas in the Big Scrub

With mass eucalypt plantings on land that was once Big Scrub rainforest increasing, Big Scrub Rainforest Conservancy is calling for a measured approach to koala habitat creation in North-Eastern NSW.

We’ve created a short film and other resources exploring the conservation dilemma of Koalas in the Big Scrub, and gathered during Big Scrub Rainforest Day Celebrations in November 2023 to discuss the issue with the community. 

Our Programs

For over 30 years, we’ve connected community and employed groundbreaking, science-backed techniques to restore critically endangered lowland subtropical rainforest.

Science Saving Rainforests

Re-establishing Rainforest

Remnant Care

Connecting Community

Stories of Success

TARRA: Bangalow

TARRA: Bangalow

A look inside Big Scrub RC Co-Founder, Dr Tony Parkes’, Bangalow rainforest...

Grow Your Own Rainforest

Wondering how to restore rainforest on your own land? We’ve developed a step-by-step guide.


Subtropical Rainforest Restoration Manual

Our rainforest restoration manual is a comprehensive guide for land owners, managers and regenerators seeking to re-establish or rehabilitate rainforest.

The manual contains information on how to care for existing subtropical rainforest remnants as well as re-establish subtropical rainforest on land from which it has been cleared. It incorporates the latest science and best practice for rainforest regeneration planning, planting, weed control and important data relevant to planting the trees and shrubs that occur in lowland subtropical rainforest.

More Information

Read our FAQs for quick answers to common regen questions.

Latest News

Announcement: Science Saving Rainforests, our world-first Australian science project, to save precious rainforests

The future of Australian rainforests is at a crossroads. Research has shown that what’s left of the once mighty rainforests of Northern New South Wales are now critically endangered and could face extinction because of a serious lack of genetic diversity. A world...

Mark Dunphy announced as Big Scrub RC’s new President

Our Co-Founder and Vice President, Mark Dunphy, has assumed the position of President of Big Scrub Rainforest Conservancy following our annual general meeting in December.  Mark was voted in by members at the AGM, which was the last presided over by Dr Tony...

President’s Report: 2022-23 Annual Report to members

BSRC had another great year in 2022-23. Our long-term, world-leading Science Saving Rainforests Program continued to make steady progress. To date, leaf samples have been collected from 12,352 individual trees. Collections have been completed across the range of 23...

Rainforest Connections 2024 conference to connect scientists and practitioners

Rainforest Connections 2024, which Big Scrub Rainforest Conservancy is proud to support, is an exciting new conference that will be held on 4-7 June 2024 in Ballina. The conference, which is brought to you by the NSW Government in partnership with Saving our Species,...

Thank you, Tony: Reflecting on 30 years at the helm of Big Scrub RC

As our President of 30 years steps down we want to thank a man who devoted three decades of unwavering service to the rainforest. Dr Tony Parkes AO was a co-founder of the Big Scrub Rainforest Landcare Group when we first formed in 1993. He was instrumental in...

Photographers of the Big Scrub: Iain Stych

Story and photos by Babette Weatherell What makes a talented wild photographer? For Iain Stych it started as a zookeeper. Iain’s zookeeping career of 20+ years saw him working with snakes, birds, mammals and monotremes across Scotland, New Zealand and Australia. His...

Big Scrub Day’s Silver Jubilee: 2023 Event Wrap & Photos

Last weekend, we hosted our 25th annual Big Scrub Rainforest Day Celebrations, with over 15 events across 10 Big Scrub locations – a quarter of a century of Big Scrub Rainforest Day. The weather was on our side and we had a wonderful four days of walks, talks and...

Big Scrub Schools Project Starts to Grow

By Dr Ray Moynihan Many readers will already know the joy of planting trees to help regenerate the region’s lost forests. Few will know that more and more local school students are being offered a chance to connect directly with this most positive of narratives. Late...

Searching for the Elusive Southern Pink Underwing Moth

Words: Georgia Beyer. Photos: Iain Stych. As the last of the evening light faded from the sky above the tree canopy, red-tinted torches were switched on, casting an unreal glow around the forest. A small team led by Iain Stych from Envite was hopeful of a rare...

Bush Regenerator Profile: Darren Bailey

Growing up on the edge of the bush in Sydney’s northern beaches, Darren developed an early passion for wild places. School holidays to the Northern Rivers included several hikes to Wollumbin National Park and drives through the Border Ranges which sparked a keen...

Major Partners and Supporters

BSF Logo

Stone & Wood Logo_grey leaves option_png format


Royal Botanic Garden Sydney


Rekindle Foundation



Cape Byron Distillery


Join us on the Socials