As one of the main arteries in Canterbury, the Christchurch Southern Motorway is one of New Zealand’s national roads of significance and now home to over 350,000 native plants. Natural Habitats was tasked with the responsibility of planting alongside the new motorway which is part of the wider infrastructure development.
The intent of the project was to re-introduce a large-scale native dry lowland eco-system to the Canterbury plains that would tie into the existing plantings from the previous stage. The design was informed by the natural ecology of the area with a native shrub plant palette and exotic specimen trees.
However, the road ahead to complete the project was not so straightforward. From supplier challenges, financial risks as a result of insolvencies, supply challenges, construction delays and delayed planting seasons, Natural Habitats had to consistently problem solve and adapt. Unfortunately, the biggest trial of all lay ahead; Covid and its prolific lockdowns.
Despite the numerous challenges faced, Christchurch Southern Motorway is surrounded by lush, green garden beds that thrive in their new habitat. The landscape now creates a corridor effect that links with the existing motorway planting and the wider native and rural landscape.