It's not surprising that there are thousands of organisations all across Australia whose main objective is to protect and restore their respective local bush lands. Made of environmental NGOs, school groups, gardening companies and community initiatives, these organisations all value the diverse and unique beauty of the Australian ecosystem, a home to an abundance of flora and fauna found in few other places around the world. But protecting and rehabilitating Australia's plants is about more than just sowing new seeds. In order to ensure one doesn't accidentally cause more damage, there are a few guiding principles that anyone hoping to assist in bush regeneration should know. These can be easily remembered as the three R's.
The first priority of any bush regeneration initiative should be the conservation of natural bush areas that already exist, rather than the forced immediate expansion of an ecosystem's reach to parts in which it didn't already flourish. This is because it would be pointless to spread growth if you weren't absolutely sure the plants could survive beyond their original bounds. Common bush regeneration techniques focus on the removal of isolated weeds, the formation of weed fronts, and the prevention of weed spread in these pre-defined areas.
Weeds are often the primary threat faced by indigenous plants. For this reason, a lot of efforts at regeneration focus on the control and removal of weeds, as aforementioned. However, there are many things to take into account when forming a regeneration strategy. For one, you don't want to clear weeds too quickly. Partially clearing them to begin with in order to see what plants might grow from the seeds already stored in the soil or distributed by birdlife is vital. Once that has been established, the hand clearing and spot spraying of weeds can be continued. In addition, plant regeneration can also take the form of cleaning and managing foliage to prevent disease and keep plants healthy.
Replanting in a severely affected area should only be considered after all other efforts have been generally unsuccessful and an area's ability to naturally recover is deemed poor. This is often the case when natural soils have been disturbed or entirely removed and nothing seems to grow. A common and important practice at this stage is to only use seeds sourced or found at the site in order to ensure no foreign plants that would not originally grow there are introduced.
All in all, these principles should guide any environmentally conscious individuals seeking to join a bush regeneration group or activity. For further advice, you can seek the help of your local eco groups and gardening experts, such as EcoHort Pty Ltd.