wetland and riparian

What kinds of native plants should you use for wetland restoration and why?

Choosing the right kind of plants is crucial for wetland restoration. In fact, it is almost always the barometer for a successful restoration. A big part of restoring the natural ecosystem of your wetland has to do with the type plants that you plan to grow.

Wetland restoration is the process of rehabilitating and reestablishing a wetland that has been damaged or destroyed.  It attempts to bring back the wetland to its natural ecosystem. And part of it is choosing the right plant species for the project. 

After identifying the different zones of your wetland (perimeter fence, shallow standing water, deep pond, nesting island), you will now be able to determine what type of plants to use for your restoration.
Determining the right plants for your restoration is one thing, where to get your plants for your riparian planting is another. 

Here are a few tips on where to get the necessary plants for your restoration:

● Use plants that have been locally sourced. Eco-sourced plants from nurseries are suitable plant species for your wetland restoration because they are already adaptable to the conditions of the said environment
● Buy from a reputable wholesaler.  Scour local nurseries from your local area, ask for the right plant species for your wetland restoration.
● Or you can draw your concept plant and place an order with a nursery (your plan will have some adjustments depending on the availability of such plants).
● If it’s a large project, you may want to enter into a contract with a wetland restoration specialist. 
There are a host of restoration schemes for you to choose from when doing your wetland restoration.

Oftentimes it is a choice of using locally sourced plants, using plants from nurseries or propagating your restoration yourself.

You can also choose from a wide variety of plants for your restoration, some of which may have been already in your area. Native plants such as the cabbage tree, the manuka, or even flax are suitable native plants for your restoration. These plants are self-sustaining and can withstand potential threats while providing an extra aesthetic value to your property.

Where should you grow your native plants for your restoration? Your native plants will thrive easily when you plant in:

● Areas with moderate climate. Plant them with minimum exposure to the sun, i.e., after soaking them well.
● In wet areas. Plant them during summer when water level is low and the water warm.
● Warmer coastal areas, especially with fewer frosts.
● Areas where there is enough shade, preferably within two years since the planting started
● On gullies and ridges, only after planting them in line with natural features.
● Areas with correct moisture zone.

Having the right plants for your wetland restoration sustains your property for a longer period of time. You wetland restoration will help

● Improve water quality - With the right restoration process. You can also get the right filtering for your wetland for water purification. In fact, a wetland with a suitable vegetation scheme improves water activity.
● Providing habitat for species - Wetlands attract a considerable host of animal and insect species while providing food and shelter. Increased in animal activity in your wetland will increase soil quality and food production as well.
●Improves property worth and profit - It takes many hands to restore wetlands. Not only does it provide employment to those who help restore its natural ecosystem, it also profits landowners by opening up more economic opportunities (eco-tourism, use of commercially viable native plants, etc).

Needless to say, wetland restoration is no walk in the park. It would be helpful if you seek a professional to do the work for you. Wetland restoration experts can assist you with cost effective design solutions and wetland plant supply.

This is where we at Rural Designs can help. We can help you in planning for your wetland restoration and provide you with cost competitive wetland management implementation services.  With our help, you’re ensures of a successful and effective restoration project.

Can You Do Revegetation Without Any Planning?

Revegetation refers to the process of replanting and rebuilding a damaged land’s soil, for restoring its former ecosystem. According to the Native Plant Centre in New Zealand, a company specializing in growing New Zealand native plants, revegetation is “to recreate a natural bush environment, where no bush existed before.”

Landowners use revegetation projects for many reasons:

● Resource conservation - refers to the management of natural resources to provide maximum benefit while maintaining the capacity of one’s land for future use.
● Erosion and weed control - the practice of preventing water erosion in agriculture, coastal areas and riverbanks, and the control of weed proliferation within the developed wetlands.
● Preservation of bush remnants - refers to the ecological restoration of remnant vegetation areas with the intention of minimizing weeds and erosion concerns.
● Preventing fertilizer run offs - the process of eliminating fertilizer saturation for the preservation of water while increasing the land’s nutrients.
● Encouraging native birds to settle in the area – an indicator of increasing biodiversity, the birds also help in fertilization and pest control.

Not All Revegetation Projects Have the Same Results

While there are many benefits from this undertaking, not all revegetation projects can turn out as ideal, or at least, executed as planned. Other revegetation projects have not lived up to its intended purpose, and that is, the rehabilitation of one’s land through the planting of native plant species. This was seen in a study conducted by Abigail R. Forbes, and John L. Craig, “Assessing the role of revegetation in achieving restoration goals on Tiritiri Matangi Island” (see attached link). 

The Tiritiri Matangi Island is a part of New Zealand’s extensive project of community-based restoration, focusing on habitat restoration, pest management and threatened species conservation as well as native revegetation.  The study’s goal was to determine whether the project at Tiritiri met  “the restoration goals by providing habitat for indigenous diversity, particularly birds.”  
They argued that although revegetation projects have captured the interest of the international conservation movement, these “initiatives (revegetation) are often conducted in an ad-hoc manner, without clear objectives or monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the chosen approach.”  That despite the efforts made, the project did not meet its desired goals due to lack of planning.

Revegetation Requires Planning and Follow-Through

To undertake a revegetation project without planning is unthinkable. Planting randomly and undermining the inherent structure of the land before a revegetation is not only unwise, it is also a waste of resources. Preserving the remaining native bushes can also be problematic without proper planning.

If you are going to start with your project, you need to consider a number of factors like the local climate, the soil conditions and altitude. In some cases, autumn is the best time for revegetation because it allows your plants to establish more roots; more roots provide a better chance of survival for the plants. In other areas with different environmental condition, different revegetation practices might be needed.

As in the case of spacing when it comes to planting, certain specifications should be followed to maximize the growth and potential of native plants. These specifications usually include:

● 1 metre for groundcovers
● 1-2 metres for small trees, ex. cabbage tree
● 3-10 metres for large trees, ex. pohutukawa
● 1 metre for shrubs, ex.  manuka, flax

Another specification to consider is the use of native and eco-sourced plants. Using plants endemic to your property that have been sourced locally helps ensure survival of the plants and adds to the ecological distinctiveness of your property.

With the help of a revegetation expert, all these specifications are taken into consideration when planning. An expert also takes into consideration possible setbacks like extreme weather, lowering of landscape heterogeneity, loss of biodiversity, and human intervention to minimize their impact.

You can conduct your own revegetation at your own expense and at your own risk, but with a professional, you save time, money, resources, and you’re assured of a certain degree of success. 

We at Rural Design have been doing revegetation services for so many years. We specialize in ecological restoration using eco-sourced plants, wetland and riprarian restoration. Our years of combined expertise, practical knowledge, and holistic approach to restoration has made us to go to firm by local government, farms, and major landowners for their restoration projects. 

We don’t just implement restoration and revegetation, we plan, support and maintain. We take steps to ensure that the projects we undertake are successful to help landowners like you reap the benefits of your revegetation projects.

Builders that Help Save Our Ecosystem

Climate change is a well-known phenomenon happening all around us. Issues of climate change have risen as early as the 90’s. The early predictions of polar ice caps melting, sea levels rising and other resources depleting are actually happening now. This affects not just our living world but threatens our survival as well.

Efforts have been made to save and restore the ecosystem, and it no longer seems enough. With the help of advanced technology, we have tried to continue evolving our efforts, and the tools that we are using in order to maximize ecological restoration. We are looking for new techniques and strategies that will help us help nature.

Individual efforts are no longer enough. Farmers, property developers and builders in New Zealand have seen the logic of exerting more effort and money for environmental purposes. Here are some efforts from these owners and developers to help save our ecosystem:

Through private and public sectors. Government and non-government organizations have contributed in this endeavor by putting up parks. By managing and maintaining these parks, the organizations involved help reduce human pollution and destruction. 

National parks in New Zealand help in ecological restoration through revegetation. They use native plants like kanuka and manuka for landscaping. Not only does it help create a beautiful scenery, it also allows for environmental development.

Other efforts of government and non-government organizations in ecological restoration include wetland and riparian management. Wetlands and riparian areas offer many and similar roles like erosion prevention and shelter provision that are vital to land and water beings. RuralDesign offers good design solutions to help maximize the potential of wetlands and riparian vegetations.

Through farming. Most rural places offer farming of many kinds—agricultural, pastoral, and many more others. Farming could be a single or mixture kind; some focus only on agricultural farming while others keep animals in a barn and plant seeds and crops at the same time.

Using greenhouses, for example, is a farming technique that helps create the proper environment for plants and crops grow. Technology has assisted farmers with methods and tools to increase plant and crop survival.

Through wetland restoration. Wetland restoration has also played its part in ecological restoration. It offers a number of benefits to the environment. It provides protection from floods and erosion, water purification, food and shelter to animals and recreational purposes.

Businesses like ours assist in creating or modifying wetland habitats to make it more maintainable and manageable. The techniques we apply do not only shape the habitat’s structure but also provide a system for the land and waters to coexist and nourish each other.

What You Can Do To Help

Everybody can do their own little part in restoring the ecosystem. Imagination is the limit. RuralDesign does its part, and supports developers that value ecological restoration. If you’re a developer and would like to do your part in restoring the environment, let us help. Schedule a consultation with us.