Ravensdown has contributed to several pilot projects around the country to test various models for effective catchment management.
Catchment engagement and the Land Use Capability Indicator (LUCI) tool were used together to improve farm environmental management in two catchments in Hawkes Bay and Southland. Ravensdown contributed in-kind through modelling of LUCI-AG and OVERSEER on the farms that participated. The results of the modelling showed the clear impact of farm-scale activities on water quality in the catchment, and the potential to increase water quality and improve flood mitigation with no negative impact on farm productivity through a carefully selected combination of mitigation options. It showed the value of modelling different combinations of mitigations using LUCI to find which combination has the potential to be more effective for multiple ecosystem services and also highlighted the importance of engaging with stakeholders and local communities to increase the quality of input data and understand possible options for best environmental outcomes.
In the Waikato, another collaborative and catchment level approach to environmental management was taken in the Pūkorokoro Miranda Wetland Restoration project, which aimed to restore and reconnect a rural freshwater ecosystem and sensitive coastal environment. The project involved collaboration between Western Firth Catchment Group, Living Waters and Ravensdown Environmental; and employed a range of tools: detention bunds, riparian planting, Farm Environment Plans, pest control, fish passage and a catchment prioritisation tool to enhance the Pūkorokoro Miranda estuarine environment and an ecologically valuable RAMSAR wetland.