Bushcare techniques

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.

We engage in a wide range of activities, as illustrated below, and bushcare is not just about weeding!

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

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

Contractor work on large stand of Privet, adjacent Waratah St., July 2017 Photo: P.Ardill

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, 2017Photo: Vera Hong

Some prominent pioneers of bush regeneration in Australia have been Ambrose Crawford in 1935 and onwards on the NSW north coast, Albert Morris in Broken Hill in 1935-39 (See: http://www.aabr.org.au/morris-broken-hill/ ) 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.

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