The Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP) of the St Helena Airport Project today held a clear up day at the ex-training centre, near the Rifle Range in Half Tree Hollow.
LEMP team members from the Access Office and the Environmental Management Division came together to clear the site of rubbish, recycle what is usable and clear weeds that have built up over the past few years. The site will now be used as a plant nursery as part of the environmental mitigation at the Airport site.
LEMP Manager Ross Towers explained the idea behind the clear up:
“The former training centre site has been more or less derelict for the last few years and there is a lot of rubbish and weeds to get rid of before it can be put to productive use once more.
“Today we are clearing out any unwanted materials, sending shredded paper to SHAPE, sending useful material to people who can use it, weeding and composting. Once the site is cleaned up it will be renovated into a plant nursery for the environmental mitigation of the Airport project.”
The nursery will be staffed and managed by the SHG Access Office through the LEMP. It will produce thousands of plants for the environmental mitigation works of the Airport Project.
Plants produced at the nursery will be mainly dry-land and desert habitat endemic and native plants such as babies-toes, scrubwood, salad plant, tea plant, and samphire. Fruiting plants, and trees for residential areas and plants used for livestock, such as thorn tree and spoor, could also be grown at the nursery.
The ex-training centre will be just one of the sites used to propagate and produce these plants.
“Having plant nurseries on St Helena is very important for the environmental mitigation of the Airport Project. St Helena’s environment is unique in a global context. There are species here that are not found anywhere else in the world and it is down to the Island to ensure these species are protected and not lost.
“The creation of St Helena’s Airport is the largest project ever to take place on the Island and it will have an impact on the Island’s environment. It is therefore vital to ensure that this impact is as minimal as possible and that we mitigate against it to ensure species such as the wirebird, mole spider, Dimelaena lichens, and the tea plant can be enjoyed by future generations.”
Three photos are attached to this release.
9 July 2014