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.
Undertaking maintenance work on naturally regenerating areas is vital. Before and after photographs of the Waratah Street regeneration area 2017-2020:
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.
- 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:
- Work from the good bush towards the weeds.
- Try to minimise disturbance of the soil and native plants and seedlings on the site, as weeds thrive in disturbed areas.
- 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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