What is bush regeneration?
Bush regeneration is the restoration and maintenance of natural ecosystems which have suffered some level of degradation. This is done by removing or reducing threatening processes, and weed species which are having a detrimental impact on these areas. A specific set of principles and techniques are used to enhance ecological processes and encourage the natural regeneration of local native plant species.
Bush regeneration is typically associated with urban or peri-urban bushland, small-scale rural projects, maintenance of public reserves, walking tracks and vegetation corridors with the aim of improving habitat value for native flora and fauna, enhancing biodiversity and improving public amenity.
Why protect our natural areas?
There are many reasons why we would want to protect our natural areas. Some of these include:
- We want to restore the bush to a state where it can sustain itself naturally
- Improving amenity and aesthetic value of an area for the community to enjoy
- Protecting a remnant natural area which represents the vegetation which once covered a wider proportion of the landscape, for educational and heritage purposes
- Providing habitat for native fauna
- Improving and re-establishing wildlife corridors between vegetation communities which have been isolated due to fragmentation of the landscape
- Improving water quality through the control of erosion
- Maintaining and enhancing the genetic diversity of vegetation communities by protecting and restoring existing vegetation, and supplementing this with native species that have an appropriate genetic diversity
- Preserving the cultural heritage and historical significance of a site
Where do I start?
You can download the Bush Regeneration Handbook
Basic skills for volunteers…
Illawarra Intrepid Landcare (previously Illawarra Youth Landcare) has produced some introductory demonstration videos that you can view to give you some simple tips on the basic techniques used in weed removal when carrying out bush regeneration activities.
Illawarra Youth Landcare – Tools & Safety
Illawarra Youth Landcare – Hand Pullables & Digging
Illawarra Youth Landcare – Vines & Scramblers
Illawarra Youth Landcare – Woody Weeds
There are a number of resources you can also access for more information about bush regeneration. Some of these include:
Bradley, J. 2002. Bringing Back the Bush: The Bradley Method of Bush Regeneration. New Holland.
Bradley, J. 1971. Bush Regeneration: The Practical Way to Eliminate Exotic Plants from Natural Reserves.
Sydney, New South Wales: The Mosman Parklands and Ashton Park Association.
Buchanan, R. 1989. Bush Regeneration: Recovering Australian Landscapes. TAFE NSW.
Buchanan, R. 2009. Restoring Natural Areas in Australia. Department of Industry and Investment.