Our planning and design approach always starts with a thorough analysis of both the biotic and abiotic characteristics of a project site. We collect information on soils, remnant and surrounding vegetation, as well as spatial data to build detailed restoration maps. The key to our approach lies in the reality that the landscape itself tells the story, we merely interpret it.
Western Australia is characterised by a soil mosaic that is very old, highly leached and often nutrient-poor. The distribution of different soil types – such as sandy gravels, heavy clays, spongolite duplexes, deep sands, etc. – can be patchy even across just a few hectares. This mosaic of different soil types relates directly to the mosaic of plant communities that make up this biodiversity hotspot.
For our planning projects, we always try to understand the composition of soils by auguring multiple soil pits. These pits give us a lot of information on the nutrient-richness, water holding capacity and vegetation associations of the soils at each project site.
The remnant vegetation on each property gives a first indication of the ecosystems that would have existed at the restoration site prior to clearing. Botanical surveys in the surroundings of the site provide additional information on species composition and diversity. The botanical survey results are subsequently linked to the soil data to inform each restoration map.
LANDSCAPE TOPOGRAPHY AND SITE CONTOURS
Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is used to determine the general surface and shape of the local landscape. Detailed information on topography and contours is gathered using a laser-level. This information informs the layout of our restoration planting designs, while ensuring erosion is minimised and water retention is maximised for each site.
- 2010: Ravensthorpe Ranges
- 2011: Boxwood Hills
- 2011: Monjebup North
- 2011: Morseby Ranges
- 2013: Yarraweyah Falls
A strong working knowledge of native vegetation and soil types allows us to design restoration plans in which native plant communities are re-created and matched to their appropriate soil types. The result is a more natural-looking assemblage of plants which also provides improved ecological structure and function on and around the site. Our restoration plans can include specific restoration targets and/or goals as requested by the client, ranging from wildlife conservation or habitat improvements to the rehabilitation of specific ecological functions, such as salinity mitigation and carbon sequestration.