Natural regeneration is the regrowth of native flora from self-sown seeds (usually brought in by birds) or vegetative sources in cleared or disturbed areas. Revegetation, on the other hand, is a more intensive process of growing the appropriate native plants, planting them and then maintaining them until they can look after themselves. Natural regeneration is typically easier and more cost effective than revegetating an area. However, this is only an opportunity when there are local seed sources or the seeds present in the soil are still viable.
Land for Wildlife SEQ states that the basic principles of natural regeneration are as follows:
- Work from good (least weeds) to bad areas (least natives). It is much easier and has better long term results.
- Disturb the soil as little as possible. This principle recognises the fact that disturbed ground favours the growth of weeds.
- Allow the rate of regeneration to dictate the rate of weed removal, this ensures that regeneration areas remain a manageable size.
- Small but frequent weed maintenance efforts are often more effective in the long term than infrequent big weed control efforts.
- If working on a large area, divide it into management zones to make the work more efficient and manageable. Zones can be delineated according to terrain, access, types of weeds present and level of disturbance.
We had only one area on our property suitable for natural regeneration. This is described here.