Seaview Vineyard Landscape Restoration Strategy

Yealands Wine Group
Ecological stewardship and restoration strategies underpin much of the agricultural sector in Aotearoa New Zealand. Across the country farmers are investing heavily in native planting as a means to protect waterways, soil and marginal lands.
WildLab worked closely with Yealands to develop a landscape strategy to restore the ecological landscape across a 250ha area that includes hillside, coast and riparian areas. This has also bee developed in response to consumer studies by Yealands that show connections with nature offer strong opportunities for consumers to develop vital emotional connections with the Yealands brand.

The Landscape Strategy is underpinned by an ecological vision that:

  • Undertakes over 250 hectares of native planting (with planned assistance from 1 Billion Trees) to build biodiversity on the property and become vital ‘seed islands’ from which native birds will feed on, and replant surrounding hillsides
  • Accounts for 20% of the property area – aligning with UN sustainability goals to have 17% of the planet’s land area set aside to protect biodiversity values. It is very unusual for this to be achieved within a specific farming unit, with public conservation lands normally relied on to achieve this at national levels.
  • Provides strong amenity value for the local community, and connects the town of Seddon with the coast, and is also part of the Kaikoura – Blenheim Whale Trail cycle journey.

A key innovation in this strategy is a sophisticated property-scale planting regime that will restore past ecological settings in ways that create a distinctive and legible fabric of diverse native plantings.

  • These multiple “ecotones” are intentionally designed to elicit a range of nature stories, from which distinctive wine stories and appeals can be generated.
  • They offer future seed sourcing at a regional scale, in particular for specieis found only at Seaview like the kaikōmako tree
  • Restore rare and threatened habitats, such as the raupō reedland, found only at Seaview in the Grassmere District
  • Allows Yealands to undertake onsite carbon offsetting with options to extend this into the Awatere Valley

“We have worked with Wildlab for the past 18 months developing a long term strategic plan for our vineyard and surrounding area.  This included an extensive planting plan incorporating sensitive natural areas, hillside, wetlands and coastal areas in addition to developing visitor experiences and signage on site.  They have an uncanny way of taking complex information and delivering simple messages with cut through.

Mick and his team took time to understand us and our objectives.  They worked collaboratively throughout the process and challenged our thinking, ultimately resulting in a far superior end result. We are thrilled with the work completed and will continue to work with the Wildlab team on future environmental and visitation projects.”

Michael Wentworth | GM Sustainability and Strategic Projects | Yealands Wine Group

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