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Ecological Landscaping

Author: Zane Masson ~ Eco Scapes

( Article Type: Explanation )

South Africa’s industrial and commercial nodes constitute a large proportion of the country’s urban land area, many of which occur within beautiful and sensitive natural environments such as Gauteng’s Bankenveld and the Western Cape’s Fynbos. The idea that these natural environments can be destroyed simply because they have been designated for industrial and commercial purposes is both negligent and short-sighted and ignores the basic principles of sustainable development. It is therefore imperative that landscapes within industrial and commercial nodes are designed and implemented in a substantially different manner to the way in which it has typically been done in the past.

Utilising conventional landscape gardening practices in commercial and industrial premises is usually an expensive exercise to implement and maintain and these practices typically destroy and forfeit many of the benefits associated within an existing natural habitat.

In contrast to conventional landscape gardening practices, ecological landscaping for sustainable development and local biodiversity within commercial and industrial nodes is a far more effective way of synchronising industrial and commercial objectives with sound environmental objectives. Ecological landscaping can bring about many financial and material benefits to the land occupier, including substantial cost reductions, resource savings and greatly appreciated staff recreational facilities.

Unlike high-maintenance conventional gardening practices, which often utilise inappropriate and inefficient vegetation, a landscape that is designed, implemented and maintained on the basis of nurturing local biodiversity will enable the natural landscape to flourish in the conditions nature intended, while vividly reflecting the unique seasonal beauty of their surrounding, natural environments and facilitating valuable plant and animal succession. The interactive ability and unique, natural aesthetics offered to staff, clients and visitors of such premises facilitate the immersion of strong environmental awareness and educational prospects.

The expansion of wild life space, rather than the destruction of it, provides a refuge not only to South Africa’s plants and animals, but to South Africa’s people, culture, future and heritage.