Lifelong passion for ecology turns into gratifying career
MARK Cachia is a proponent of the Bradley method, which involves regenerating bushland by working “from good areas to bad”.
It is named for sisters Joan and Eileen Bradley, who originated a worldwide movement 50 years ago of coaxing the bush back to health through careful weeding and gentle cultivation.
“It’s amazing what remnant vegetation you can find in a metre radius under one tall tree out in the paddock,” Mr Cachia said.
“And there are lots of species that can be found around Rockhampton you don’t find anywhere else.”
Mr Cachia recently moved from Gayndah in south Queensland for work but says the two towns are part of the same bioregional “belt”.
The Brigalow Belt is a wide band of wooded grassland that runs between Queensland’s tropical rainforest on the coast and its semi-arid interior.
It is named after acacia harpophylla, a species of silvery wattle.
Mr Cachia works as a supervisor at Ecosure and is awaiting council approval to start his own native nursery on a block of land in Port Curtis.
“I do a bit of propagating from seed and I also buy in from a retailer in Kingaroy,” he said.
Some of the species he brought to his market stall on Bolsover St on Sunday included native pomegranate, darling lily, whalebone tree, humble ebony and a rosewood specimen.
Mr Cachia recalls being passionate about plants and animals when he was “only two or three”.
“My awareness of the need to take care of the bush really started in high school when I got involved with some landcare groups,” he said.
“I won a $50,000 grant to install water tanks at my school in NSW.”
Now he’s slowly getting involved with the Fitzroy Basin Association and the Rockhampton Regional Council’s sustainability department.
“Birds and animals can move into an area quite readily,” he said.
“But plants can’t; we have to find the patches that remain and allow them to spread back out.”
You can find Bringing Back the Bush Ecological Restoration on Facebook.
BUSH REGENERATION: Mark Cachia of Bringing Back the Bush Ecological Restoration.