The Landscape and Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP) provides compensatory habitats for the ones lost due to the airport construction and works to secure the future of St Helena’s unique flora and fauna. LEMP, in collaboration with Basil Read and the EMD conservation nursery in Scotland, has now started its planting activities on the airport site, with endemic babies’ toes (Hydrodea cryptantha) and scrubwoods (Commidendrum rugosum).
As part of preparation for construction activities on the north-west side of the runway, Basil Read and the LEMP team have now transplanted hundreds of endemic babies’ toes to the terraces nearby. Babies’ toes is an annual plant species that will die during the dry summer period but will come up from seeds after next winter rains. It will hopefully establish a self-sustaining population on the terraces in future.
On 9 October 2014 the LEMP team consisting of Mikko Paajanen, Belinda Thomas, Kurt Plato and Brandon O’Bey carried out the first plantings of endemic scrubwoods between Prosperous Bay Plain and King and Queen Rocks. Plants were provided by the Environment and Natural Resources Department’s conservation Nursery at Scotland.
LEMP Ecologist Mikko Paajanen, said:
“This area was chosen to give a boost to the original population where most of the scrubwood seed for the airport site rehabilitation comes from. Planting of the babies’ toes and scrubwoods is a good start for our huge task of rehabilitation on the areas affected by the airport construction.”
14 October 2014