Bushcare activities

Bushcare is not just about weeding! We engage in a wide range of activities, as illustrated below. BMCC environmental managers, the BMCC bush regeneration team and bush regeneration contractors also make a big contribution to site works.

Natural regeneration of native trees. Nursery propagation of native trees can be difficult as seed is hard to collect due to tree height. Dec 2016

A strip of naturally regenerating native trees and shrubs on the bushcare site. These plants flourished once protected from mowing. December, 2016. Photo: P Ardill

 

Cut and herbicide Privet Jan 2011

Cut and herbicide Privet, Jan 2011 Photo: P.Ardill

 

Bagging and removing weeds from native forest April 2016

Bagging and removing weeds and their seeds, April 2016 Photo: P. Ardill

 

Managing stormwater flows Sept 2010

Managing stormwater flows, Sept 2010 Photo: P.Ardill

 

Carefully wiping the long green Montbretia weed with herbicide and avoiding the ferns, October 2016

Wiping Montbretia weed with herbicide and avoiding the ferns, October 2016 Photo: P. Ardill

 

Planting using local provenance native plants May 2011

Planting using local provenance native plants, May 2011 Photo: P. Ardill

 

Soft coir engineering controlling sediment flows, Waratah Street, April 2010

Controlling road side sediment flows, Waratah Street April 2010 (BMCC photo)

 

Coir logging and sand bagging engineering, Lawson Creek, Jan 2010

Coir logging and sand bagging, Lawson Creek, Jan 2010 Photo: P. Ardill

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Undertaking maintenance work on naturally regenerating areas is vital. Before and after photographs of the Waratah Street regeneration area 2017-2020:

Contractor work on large stand of Privet, adjacent Waratah St., July 2017

Contractor work on large stand of Privet, Waratah Street regeneration area, July 2017 Photo: P.Ardill

 

Same contractor work area in Feb 2020. Further maintenance needed. Photo: P Ardill

…same work area, Feb 2020, now managed by Bushcare Group, with ongoing  maintenance of Privet regrowth. Photo: P Ardill

 

Adjacent unformed Waratah Street. Native grasses regenerating in foreground and right, April 2018 (Photo: P Ardill)

Waratah Street regeneration area. Privet cleared and native grasses regenerating in foreground April 2018 Photo: P Ardill

 

Maintaining native grass regeneration Waratah Street Feb 2020 Photo: P Ardill

Further maintenance of the same  native grass regeneration area, Feb 2020 Photo: P Ardill

 

Homalanthus populifolius (Bleeding Heart) left, Gleichenia dicarpa (Coral Fern) centre, in the 2016 regeneration area. Mar 2016 Photo: P Ardill

Regenerating bushland in the Waratah Street regeneration area, March 2016. Photo: P Ardill

 

Waratah Street regeneration area doing well! Feb 2020 Photo: P Ardill

…still doing well! Feb 2020 Photo: P Ardill

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Out with the Privet Photo; V Hong

Out with the Privet seedlings on the Creek bank, 2017 Photo: Vera Hong

 

Removing weed seed Photo: V Hong

Removing weed seed, 2017 Photo: Vera Hong

 

Stem injection of herbicide into Privet Photo: V Hong

Preparing for stem injection of herbicide into Privet, 2017 Photo: Vera Hong

 

Planting to strengthen swamp buffer zone June 2011 Photo: P Ardill

Planting to strengthen swamp buffer zone June 2011 Photo: P Ardill

 

Waratah St rock lining of Lawson Creek tributary Jan 2010. BMCC

Waratah St rock lining of Lawson Creek tributary Jan 2010. BMCC

 

Hand weeding Privet seedlings in the good bush, Oct 2016 Photo: P Ardill

Hand weeding Privet seedlings in the good bush, Oct 2016 Photo: P Ardill

 

Brushmatting of Lawson Creek, Adelina Falls, showing bare stream banks. 2017 Photo: BMCC

Excessive use and trampling resulted in swamp vegetation being destroyed and severe erosion along both banks of Lawson Creek above Adelina Falls 2016-17. Commencement of brushmatting by BMCC Regeneration Team 2017. Bare soil and tree roots still evident Photo: BMCC 2017

 

Overuse resulted in swamp vegetation being destroyed and severe erosion along both banks of Lawson Creek above Adelina Falls 2016-17. Extensively brushmatted by BMCC Regeneration Team 2017-18. Photo: P Ardill March 2019

Lawson Creek above Adelina Falls with brushmatting of eroded stream banks Photo: P Ardill March 2019

 

Detail: extensive brushmatting to remediate severe erosion caused by overuse. Lawson Creek above Adelina Falls. BMCC Regeneration Team 2017-2018 Photo: P Ardill March 201

Detail: extensive brushmatting to remediate severe erosion caused by overuse. Erosion still occurring beside bridge. Lawson Creek above Adelina Falls. BMCC Regeneration Team 2017-2018 Photo: P Ardill March 2019

 

Tools to clean and waste to compost December 2017 Photo: P Ardill

Tools to clean and waste to compost December 2017 Photo: P Ardill

Training and equipment

  • Bushcare volunteers receive introductory and ongoing training in bushcare techniques from qualified and experienced BMCC Bushcare Officers.
  • Volunteers may opt to not use herbicide at South Lawson Park bushcare sessions.
  • All tools, gloves and kneeling pads are supplied by the Bushcare Officer.
  • BMCC and the Blue Mountains Bushcare Network regularly offer optional bushcare training courses and environmental study field days for bushcare volunteers.

Professional support

  • In addition to work done by the bushcare group, since 1995 BMCC bushland management officers have obtained funding for the employment of various bush regeneration contractors to tackle specific weeds and other problems on the site.
  • BMCC’s own bush regeneration team also works in the area on a regular basis.
  • We are most appreciative of the skills and dedication that successive BMCC Bushcare Officers and associated natural area and bushland management officers, environmental scientists and aquatic officers have displayed when working with the bushcare group and managing the site.

Bush regeneration and ecological restoration

Some prominent pioneers of ecological restoration and bush regeneration in Australia have been:

  • Ambrose Crawford at Alstonville on the NSW north coast, commencing in 1935;
  • Albert Morris in Broken Hill and South Australia between 1936 and 1939 (See: http://www.aabr.org.au/morris-broken-hill/);
  • Roger Good in the Kosciuszko summit area, 1959; and
  • Joan and Eileen Bradley in Sydney in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Bradley Method was developed by the Bradley sisters and subsequently refined by other bush regeneration practitioners. It provides the basis for BMCC volunteer bushcare practice in the Blue Mountains. The core principles of the Bradley Method are:

  1. Work from the good bush towards the weeds.
  2. Try to minimise disturbance of the soil and native plants and seedlings on the site, as weeds thrive in disturbed areas.
  3. The rate of weed clearance is determined by the rate of native plant regeneration.

Visit http://bushcarebluemountains.org.au/resources/  for more detail on bush regeneration techniques and principles and http://weedsbluemountains.org.au for specific weed treatment methods. A respected bush regeneration text of theory and practice is Restoring Natural Areas in Australia, Robin A. Buchanan, 2009, NSW Industries and Investment (Pub).

The Australian Association of Bush Regenerators is the recognised industry body. Go to http://aabr.org.au for some interesting reading and information.

The international Society for Ecological Restoration sets the standards for restoration projects which have as their goal the full restoration of ecological function to a site: http://www.ser.org There is also an Australian chapter:  http://www.seraustralasia.com/

The Albert Morris Ecological Restoration Award was inaugurated in 2017 to recognise excellence in ecological restoration, a practice which aims to restore degraded natural areas to full ecological health and functioning.

(Australian Copyright Act 1968 applies. Text and photos on this site are subject to copyright)

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