Bushcare activities

Our bushcare and restoration work

  • Bushcare is not just about weeding! We engage in a wide range of activities, as illustrated below. We foster natural regeneration of the local (indigenous) flora, plant locally sourced indigenous flora, restore ecosystems, remove invasive weeds and their seeds, record flora and fauna data and manage stormwater flows. BMCC environmental managers, the BMCC bush regeneration team and bush regeneration contractors also make a big contribution to site works.

Click on an image to view a selection of our bushcare activities.

  • Encouraging and nurturing natural regeneration of bushland and other types of vegetation communities is very important. Naturally distributed seed from healthy vegetation communities requires protection after germination in order to grow well.

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
  • Undertaking maintenance work on naturally regenerating areas is vital. Here are some before and after photographs of our Waratah Street regeneration area (2017-2020) that illustrate the importance of maintenance work.

  • Contractor work on large stand of Privet, adjacent Waratah St., July 2017
  • Same contractor work area in Feb 2020. Further maintenance needed. Photo: P Ardill
  • Homolanthus populifoius (Bleeding Heart) left, Gleichenia dicarpa (Coral Fern) centre, and Leptospermum sp. (centre right) in the regeneration area, Mar 2016. Better than a Privet forest!
  • Waratah Street regeneration area doing well! Feb 2020 Photo: P Ardill
  • Adjacent unformed Waratah Street. Native grasses regenerating in foreground and right, April 2018 (Photo: P Ardill)
  • Maintaining native grass regeneration Waratah Street Feb 2020 Photo: P Ardill

Training and equipment

  • Bushcare volunteers receive introductory and ongoing training in bushcare techniques from qualified and experienced BMCC Bushcare Officers.
  • Use of herbicide is completely optional.
  • All tools, gloves and other equipment 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 the work undertaken 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 BMCC environmental and aquatic management staff have displayed when working with the Bushcare Group and managing the site.

Bush regeneration and ecological restoration

Some prominent pioneers of bush regeneration and ecological restoration in Australia have been Ambrose Crawford at Alstonville on the NSW north coast (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. Here are the core principles of the Bradley Method.

  1. Work from the good bush towards the weeds.
  2. Try to minimise disturbance of the soil, native plants and their 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, available at 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, media and all other contents of this site are subject to copyright. Many thanks to the members of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group, our BMCC Bushcare Officer and Second Minutes Hours Productions for their contributions to this website)