As part of an environmental strategy to lay out how degraded gully systems can be restored, New Zealand’s transport agency is using a drone to collect information on the topography and type of vegetation in gullies.
On the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway – located in the Waikato region of New Zealand – the NZ Transport Agency says it is working on a restoration strategy for gully systems between Tamahere and Hillcrest. The strategy will identify areas for potential restoration, offer up solutions such as how to eradicate invasive weed species, and identify possible funding sources for the work.
According to the agency, many of the gullies are not accessible by foot because of dense undergrowth, so it will be deploying an unmanned aircraft.
“When we started investigating the Hamilton section, we saw that the gully systems are in an extremely poor state – full of invasive plants and weeds that are destroying the natural ecosystem,” explains Kaye Clark, the agency’s highway manager for New Zealand’s Waikato region. “The survey work we will be carrying out will inform what environmental works need to be carried out within the Hamilton section of the expressway’s footprint, but the information will also be useful for other areas.”