Identify, protect and enhance prominent views, natural landscape features, indigenous ecosystems and habitats, and areas of ecological or biodiversity value.
Implement weed and pest management measures and restoration planting schemes where appropriate. Incorporate interpretive signage to help people understand and value our special natural environments.
Protect and enhance the ecological character and natural qualities
Retain areas of natural or undeveloped landscape, vegetation and habitat on the site. These undeveloped places serve many important purposes, including: preserving the natural character of the landscape, providing habitats for endangered species and providing the public with access to open spaces. The design process should encouragepeople to become engaged with these environments, so that they become advocates for their protection into the future.
To protect and enhance natural qualities:
- investigate the Unitary Plan to find out whether there are Significant Ecological Areas on site
- identify and understand the characteristics of the site's ecosystem and the landscape types it contains
- establish or identify areas where people can access the space without negatively detracting from its ecological qualities
- where sensitive ecological habitats exist, consider excluding the public so that they can be protected
- understand and plan for the successful management of important ecological areas
- fence habitats and remnant bush areas from stock
- undertake plant and animal pest control.
Minimise land modification and protect existing landforms
When designing for landscape and amenity environments, protect existing landforms and work with the existing topography. This will minimise disturbance of the soils, avoid disruption of existing hydrological patterns and prevent the destruction of any historical land use evidence or important views. Avoid using heavy equipment which will compact the soil and alter the soil structure. Grading can also create problems for stormwater management by increasing sediment runoff.
Protect landforms by:
- closely monitoring where heavy equipment is used on site, or avoiding its use if possible
- researching the historic heritage of the landscape telling these stories to park users through interpretive elements
- mimicking the natural topography of the site where grading is unavoidable.
Identify existing trees and vegetation
Identify and document existing trees and vegetation on the site, and let this inform the design process. Investigate whether the existing vegetation holds cultural or heritage significance which could provide a theme for the design of the park. Mature vegetation provides amenity features such as shade and shelter, and can be used to visually contain carparking areas or act as a backdrop for buildings.
Identify existing trees and vegetation by:
- undertaking site visits aimed at gathering information about the existing vegetation. Ensure the information is mapped so that it can inform the overall site design
- identifying any scheduled native or exotic trees or shrubs and plan for their protection
- using existing trees and vegetation as structuring elements, particularly where screening or shelter is desired.