The Landscape & Ecology Mitigation Programme (LEMP), part of St Helena Government’s Airport Project, is progressing well, with new staff recruitments, facilities and plants.
Amongst its many areas of work, the LEMP team is tasked with regenerating all temporarily disturbed ground caused by the construction of the Airport, in conjunction with Basil Read, and with providing compensatory habitat for all lands permanently lost.
There are now 8 people directly employed on Island by the LEMP carrying out ecological surveys, collecting seeds from the wild, growing plants, and carrying out habitat restoration activities throughout the Airport Development Area. The LEMP is also partnered by AECOM, a UK based consultancy which has been involved with the Airport Project for several years. AECOM is currently creating draft landscape designs which will be assessed by LEMP staff and public stakeholders and refined during an on-Island visit by staff later this month.
To be able to grow the tens of thousands of plants required, the LEMP has reinvigorated the old training centre below the Rock Club in Half Tree Hollow into the LEMP Tree Nursery where the majority of plants will be grown.
LEMP Project Manager, Ross Towers, explains:
“There has been weeks of hard work put in to remove several years’ worth of weed growth, to repair derelict buildings, and to kit the facility out to be able to produce the plants we will need over the next few years. The team has worked very hard to get the place up to scratch.”
Species currently being grown for conservation rehabilitation efforts include native and endemic species such as samphire, ebony, scrubwood and fishbone grass. There are also plants for residential areas such as flamboyant for Rupert’s Valley being grown. Residents from Rupert’s, Deadwood and Bottom Woods are being asked whether there are any particular plants they would like to see in their district.
For more information on the LEMP or to pass on your ideas, contact Ross Towers, LEMP Project Manager, on 22721 at the Air Access Office, Second Floor Post Office, Jamestown, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 November 2014