Sweeney Enviroments http://sweeneyenvironments.co.nz Just another WordPress site Sun, 18 Jan 2015 01:18:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wootton Wetland and Time Lapse Video http://sweeneyenvironments.co.nz/wootton-wetland/ Sun, 09 Dec 2012 04:20:12 +0000 http://sweeneyenvironments.co.nz/?p=663

“Brent Wootton wanted to pay a tribute to his Dad’s environmental efforts”

When Brent Wootton’s father observed the wildlife that frequented the boggy patch on the farm, he decided he wanted to look after it long term.  So about 25 years ago, he fenced off 6 hectares of wetland, creating a significant and lasting legacy.

Brent Wootton had always wanted to create an area of open water to complement and enhance the wetland values that his father had protected on their property many years ago.  We came into the project to help ‘make it happen’.

It was a fantastic concept, but also ambitious and complicated.  The wetland site is ecologically significant, with an existing management plan.  Brent’s pond needed to be created from scratch, including introducing a functioning hydrological system, without the benefit of a natural seep and evidence of original pond vegetation.

Our support for Brent’s vision?  We undertook the landscape design, prepared a planting plan, and produced construction drawings for the consent applications.  Our associate prepared the applications, which Grant shepherded through the Council processes.   We then managed the physical works and planting of the wetland.

Consultation was always going to be a vital component of the project.  While Brent was confident that he was doing something good for the environment, there were others who had long standing interests in the wetland.  Grant carried out the consultation and liaison between the various interests, always keeping in mind that this was no random project.  Brent Wootton was creating something special, in his back yard, in the place where he lived.   We  were constantly aware that Brent’s on-going relationships with his neighbours and community were to be protected, as much as the environment!

Happily, the earthworks for the pond were completed in March 2012.  Planting of the bunds and wetland itself were finished in August 2012, with sign-off gained from both councils.


Wootton Wetland Time Lapse Video

Carrus Aotea Pine Tree Harvest and Site Rehabilitation http://sweeneyenvironments.co.nz/carrus-aotea-pine-tree-harvest-and-site-rehabilitation/ Tue, 13 Nov 2012 01:18:11 +0000 http://sweeneyenvironments.co.nz/?p=424

An exercise in situation-specific solutions

As part of the earthworks for Stage 10 of the Aotea subdivision, about 7 rows of pine trees over a 400m length needed to be removed over 1-2 years.

The problem was that the site is extremely visible to SH1 and to most areas overlooking the Porirua Harbour.  While wanting the pines to be underplanted, Porirua City also needed to retain the screening properties of the trees throughout the harvesting process.  Public interest was also high.

Carrus had certainly presented us with a creative challenge!

We figured that if we could thin the pines, and stage their removal, we might be able to retain the screening while creating an environment for the mitigation planting to thrive.

However the second objective of under-planting in a pine environment was also problematic.  Pines create an acidic soil, making it difficult for anything else to grow.

So we surveyed the trees and picked out the ones that were the most dense.  By doing this, we were able to take out 80 trees while retaining full screening of the earthworks behind.  Despite removing half of the trees, it wasn’t easy to see that any had been taken.

Then we ripped the soil beneath, to allow planting amongst the tree roots, but first, we added lime to the soil, to neutralise it ready for the planting.

Although the planting plan had to be highly designed, the outcome was satisfying; staged pine removal plan in place, soil pH altered, under-planting carried out, site maintenance underway (we currently oversee the maintenance as required), and plants doing their growing thing… all while meeting the aim of minimising the visual impacts of the subdivision earthworks and the tree harvesting operation.


Underplanting of pines, Carrus development, Aotea