The Bradley method makes practical use of well known ecological principles. The method consists of hand weeding, without replanting, of selected small areas of vegetation in such a manner that after weeding, each area will be promptly re-inhabited and stabilized by the regeneration of native plants. Importantly the method calls for the weeding of less disturbed areas first and then working towards more problematic areas. The method is different from conventional bush regeneration methods in that it doesn't use herbicides.
If the weeding is approached as a conventional gardening operation, in which large areas are cleared and burned or the debris carted away, the effort will fail because large exposed and disturbed areas will become re-colonized by new weeds. The Bradley method urges a naturalistic approach by encouraging the native vegetation to self-reestablish. The Bradleys used their method to successfully rid a 16 hectare (40 acres) woodland reserve near Ashton Park. The process demonstrated that subsequent maintenance was needed only once or twice a year, mainly in vulnerable spots such as creek banks, roadsides, and clearings, to be maintained weed-free.
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