Managing invasive plants in a rural-amenity landscape: the role of social capital and Landcare
Rural-amenity migration is changing the social and ecological compositions of landscapes globally. The in-migration of new landholders is contributing to significant biophysical changes to rural landscapes, as well as the weakening of collective awareness, knowledge and skills needed to manage natural resources. This is leading to the proliferation of environmental harm. This paper focuses on invasive plants as one such harm, detailing how collective action is developed and challenged in a rural landscape undergoing increasing property turnover and diversifying management priorities. Focusing on the role of a Landcare group, located in southern New South Wales, Australia, I explore how social capital - with a particular focus on trust and social norms - is mobilised to recruit newly arrived residents and maintain commitment among landholders to manage invasive plants. This research provides insights into how policy can better steer management interventions, particularly how to develop and maintain collective action in diversifying rural landscapes.