This guide, commissioned by the Nature Heritage Fund, details design practices that help protect natural areas in a sustainable way.
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The complete design guide (PDF, 848K)
This guide aims to assist the effective establishment and long term viability in protecting natural areas. It recognizes that many natural areas are fundamental to maintaining (larger) functioning natural ecosystems, whether or not they are formally protected.
- Natural areas cue to original landscape character
- Remnants of original functioning eco-systems
- Extend across ecological sequences
- Underlying land systems analysis
- Catchment-based design
- Natural boundaries the most effective
- Respect natural change
- Seek self-sustaining areas
- Link isolated areas to enhance value
- Maximise the core and minimise the edge
- Consider buffers at the same time as boundaries
- Access requirements for management and maintenance
- Site fence-lines according to landform
- Consider carefully plant pests…
- and the risks of animal pests
- Natural regeneration or vegetation restoration?
- Be aware of cultural needs
- Public access to protected natural areas can have advantages
- Summary and checklist
This guide aims to assist the effective establishment and long term viability in protecting natural areas. It recognizes that many natural areas are fundamental to maintaining (larger) functioning natural ecosystems, whether or not they are formally protected. The aim is to provide guidance to assist in achieving self-sustaining natural areas:
- regardless of their status (e.g. informal protection, covenant, reserve), and,
- regardless of who has management responsibility (e.g. a private land- owner, a conservation trust, a council, or the Department of Conservation).
The guide identifies a number of issues. It looks at the need to understand the significance of each area’s wider context and looks at particular design issues to be considered in protecting an area.
A key issue is identifying where a protected area’s boundaries should be extended to. The issues are noted alongside illustrated examples and include recommendations for long term sustainable management.
A summary checklist is provided as a ready reference at the end of the guide, with page references back to the issues and recommendations discussed.
The guide was put together for applicants to the Nature Heritage Fund but it will also be useful for others involved in the protection of natural areas.
Copyright © 2004 Nature Heritage Fund
This report may be freely copied provided that the Nature Heritage Fund is acknowledged as the source of the information.
Design guide compiled by a landscape architecture team including
Jeremy Head, Leona deRidder and Claire Findlay.