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4 Tips to Protect Native Vegetation during the Construction of Your Home

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In many jurisdictions in Australia, clearing native vegetation is regulated by respective states in order to protect sensitive biodiversity. When doing a construction project that requires lopping and clearing of native vegetation, you will most definitely need a permit. You may be fined, or your project can be stopped if you do not adhere to the stipulated guidelines on protecting native vegetation. However, you can be on the safe side of the law by protective the native vegetation without necessarily destroying it. Here are some ways to protect native vegetation at the construction site.

Mapping the Property -- Before beginning the home construction project, discuss with your contractor the areas that need protection. You can have your lawyer insert a vegetation preservation clause that will require the contractor to pay if any damage is done to the native trees or shrubs. By mapping your property, you will mitigate the destruction to native vegetation.  A certified forester can help you in the mapping process; hence, enable you to avoid penalties related to loss of native vegetation during construction.

Protective Fencing -- Once you have identified the areas to be protected, you will need to install a fence to protect them during the entire construction project phases. You should delineate clear boundaries of the locations of the native vegetation. For an effective protection option, you should have a temporary fence installed around the border. If the contractor plans to subcontract the project, iron out all the details regarding their responsibility of protecting the vegetation. A barrier should extend to the critical root zone, which is the area where the roots of a tree spread beyond its canopy. You may use metal or wooden stakes with added warning signage visible to all workers.

Vehicle Traffic -- You should designate a clear route for vehicle traffic in and around the construction site. Heavy construction vehicles such as mobile cranes and earth movers can easily destroy native vegetation if you have not designated a clear route for them. Consider the size and reach of these vehicles to avoid the loss of native trees and shrubs. You can add layers of gravel and wood chips to the area near the critical root zone for stabilizing this surface and prevent damage to the roots.

Soil Contamination -- Native vegetation thrives on specific soil types. Therefore, you should avoid soil contamination during the construction phase. When washing construction tools and equipment such as trucks that transport concrete, ensure you do the cleaning in a designated location. Soil contamination can affect the smooth growth of native vegetation. By contaminating the soil, you also run the risk of introducing alien species in these zones.