This course is equally valuable for people wishing to work in nature parks and reserves, in managerial or technical positions.
Lay a foundation to work in management of wilderness areas, national parks, camp and picnic grounds and reserves.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
In most cases, the organic debris at a disturbed site should not be cleared prior to rehabilitation. Old logs, leaf litter, rotting twigs etc are all-important components and will contribute to re-establishing the site if left lying where they are. They will support insects and other small animals. In addition they will help retain soil moisture and supply nutrients. The exception, of course, is weed residues or debris contaminated by chemicals – these must be removed from the site.
Debris can be considered as a valuable resource. By spreading mulch, leaf litter, logs etc, over a site you can encourage rehabilitation. Heavy material lain adjacent to drainage lines can be used to help control erosion and reduce siltation of water courses. Debris can provide perches for birds. Seed carried by birds may be deposited in the debris, and germinate protected by that debris.
Mass plantings or planting at high densities will quickly cover up a site, which will help to stabilise it faster, but it can create plant growth which is dependent upon extra care. The roots of plants help hold soil together and prevent erosion. The foliage of plants can slow the wind, filter air, and slow down the rate at which rainfall collects on the ground; hence reducing flooding and soil washing away.
When a site has undergone significant changes through erosion or construction work, there will be significant changes to the way water flows over the ground and is held by the soil. These changes may mean that the site cannot be rehabilitated into an ecosystem like that which existed prior to those changes.
Insects, soil microorganisms, seeds, etc needed to rehabilitate a site are often found in abundance in topsoil. If some topsoil remains on a site, from the original ecosystem, it may be the source of many of the species required to rehabilitate the site to something approaching its original form.
Invasion by Exotic Organisms
Plants and animals from nearby areas may invade the site being rehabilitated. Wind, water, birds, vehicles and people can carry weed seeds, insects and other small organisms onto the site. Where possible, restrict the movement of exotic species to give the indigenous species a better chance of establishment.