Project: Dragon Hill Farms, Russell

1999 - 2001

Mission: To restore Dragon Hill farm's natural plant and animal species through a cohesive pest control programme. Design a plan that integrated human living into the landscape whilst creating a sustainable commercial farm operation using low impact,organic methods,thereby creating a place of lasting natural health, beauty and food abundance.

The owners requested that colour be integrated into the mixed plantings of exotic timber trees. (This planting can be viewed at the intersection along Paroa Bay, Russell.)

Eco-land was invited to design and implement a sustainable land management plan, for the 64ha coastal property that enabled a fast transition from conventional grazing to sustainable land use.

Storm water management was also a requirement as buildings were proposed in the lower reaches of the valley where floods had traditionally been a problem.

Because the owners chose to manage the property organically from the start, the project implementation was carried out using organic methods. Luckily all the internal fences were in a bad state of repair and this enabled the total remodeling of paddocks and securing of planting zones. Fences were done in a manner that did not dominate the landscape. Once fenced, sheep were brought on and cattle numbers were reduced to a minimum. Paddocks were reseeded with clover and fertiliser was applied. The occupying family participated with the planting organisation and the actual planting.

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