Roadside Environment Program

Roadside Environment Program

Roadside Environment Marker Scheme – Hunter and Central Coast

Background

The Hunter and Central Coast Regional Roadside Environment Program aims to maintain and improve the important ecosystem services and environmental values that high quality and well managed roadsides contribute to the landscape. These include:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Improved catchment and ecosystem health
  • Maintaining the aesthetic character of the landscape.

The program pursues a strategic and coordinated approach to the management of roadsides that encompasses all aspects of road management, from planning and environmental assessment, through to implementation of road maintenance and construction activities. The program has developed a suite of tools and resources that relate to all aspects of road planning, construction and maintenance and which are relevant to a range of staff including planners, asset managers, field supervisors and operations staff, GIS officers and natural resource management / environmental staff.

Roadside Marker Scheme

A core element of the regional program is the Roadside Environment Marker Scheme. This practical, field based system identifies or “marks” important roadside areas to assist Council staff:

  1. Protect or avoid sensitive or significant roadside environmental values / issues
  2. Improve roadside environmental management practices
  3. Operationally comply with a range of legislative obligations.

Under the Marker Scheme, sites are demarcated by orange metal posts and codes (in the form of stickers), which represent key environmental management issues or values that should be considered when undertaking works in the location. Each code directly links to a management field guide held by maintenance and construction staff. These provide clear directions on best practice management approaches to be implemented at the site to avoid compromising its ecological or other values.

Current Roadside marker codes

 At present a total of 9 marker codes addressing a range of ecological values and management issues are in place across various parts of the region.

CODE

CATEGORY

V1 Threatened Vegetation Communities
V2 Threatened Plants
V3 Ground Orchids
W1 Significant Weed Incursion
F1 Threatened Fauna Habitat
F2 Significant Fauna Habitat
A1 Aquatic
A2 Water Crossings
F3 Koala Black Spots

Roadside Field Guides

Corresponding to each marker code is a specific Field Guide that describes “General Management Principles” for 6 primary roadside management activities:

  1. Slashing/Mowing
  2. Clearing and Construction
  3. Grading
  4. Cleaning of Table Drains
  5. Weed Control
  6. Stockpiling and Vehicle Parking

 

For more information please contact us on
(02 49784020) or email enviroadmin@huntercouncils.com.au


V1 – Threatened Vegetation Communities

General Management Principles

Slashing/Mowing

  • No slashing/mowing where sight lines are not an issue; or
  • Where sight lines are an issue:
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible restrict to 1 slasher/mower width from the edge of road pavement.
  • Do not slash/mow beyond the table drain
  • Slash/mow minimum width along bends to maintain sight lines
  • Do not slash/mow less than 100 mm above ground surface

Weed Control

  • Apply only low impact control methods within marked roadside area. These include:
  • Where possible hand removal techniques
  • Cut/swab, cut stump, stem scrape* techniques for Woody Weeds
  • Foliar spot spraying* technique for herbaceous weeds
  • Contact Council’s Weeds Officer for further Advice

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Removal of native vegetation and native plant restoration works only to be completed in accordance with an approval Review of Environmental Factors (REF)
  • Avoid heavy machinery entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Avoid removing fallen logs, bush rock, trees with hallows and nesting trees

Grading

  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation/trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • For sealed roads do not grade beyond existing road shoulder
  • For unsealed roads do not grade beyond existing road width

Stockpiling and Vehicle Parking

  • Avoid stockpiling materials within marked roadside area
  • Only park vehicles and machinery in designated cleared areas

Cleaning Table drains

  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible do no deepen or widen the table drain
  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation/trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • Where possible maintain groundcover vegetation within drains

V2 – Threatened Plants

General Management Principles

Slashing/Mowing

  • No slashing/mowing where sight lines are not an issue; or
  • Where sight lines are an issue:
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible restrict to 1 slasher/mower width from edge of road pavement
  • Do not slash/mow beyond the table drain
  • Slash/mow less than 100 mm above ground surface

Weed Control

  • Apply only low impact control methods within marked roadside area. These include:
  • Where possible hand removal techniques
  • Cut/swab, cut stump, stem scrape* techniques for woody weeds and vines
  • Contact Council’s Weeds Officer for further advice

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Removal of native vegetation and native plant restoration works only to be completed in accordance with an approved Review of Environment Factors (REF)
  • Avoid heavy machinery entering marked roadside area
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments

Grading

  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation/trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • For sealed roads do not grade beyond existing road shoulder
  • For unsealed roads do not grade beyond existing road width

Stockpiling and Vehicle Parking

  • Avoid stockpiling materials within marked roadside area
  • Only park vehicles and machinery in designated cleared areas

Cleaning Table drains

  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible do no deepen or widen the table drain
  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation/trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • Where possible maintain groundcover vegetation within drains

V3 – Ground Orchids

General Management Principles

Slashing/Mowing

  • No slashing/mowing where sight lines are not an issue; or
  • Where sight lines are an issue:
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible restrict to 1 slasher/mower width from the edge of road pavement.
  • Do not slash/mow beyond the table drain
  • Slash/mow minimum width along bends to maintain sight lines
  • Do not slash/mow less than 100 mm above ground surface

Weed Control

  • Apply only low impact control methods within marked roadside area. These include:
  • Where possible hand removal techniques
  • Cut/swab, cut stump, stem scrape* techniques for Woody Weeds
  • Foliar spot spraying* technique for herbaceous weeds
  • Contact Council’s Weeds Officer for further Advice

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Removal of native vegetation and native plant restoration works only to be completed in accordance with an approval Review of Environmental Factors (REF)
  • Avoid heavy machinery entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Avoid removing fallen logs, bush rock, trees with hallows and nesting trees

Grading

  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation/trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • For sealed roads do not grade beyond existing road shoulder
  • For unsealed roads do not grade beyond existing road width

Stockpiling and Vehicle Parking

  • Avoid stockpiling materials within marked roadside area
  • Only park vehicles and machinery in designated cleared areas

Cleaning Table drains

  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible do no deepen or widen the table drain
  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation/trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • Where possible maintain groundcover vegetation within drains

 


W1 – Significant Weed Incursion

General Management Principles

Slashing/Mowing

  • No slashing/mowing where sight lines are not an issue; or
  • Where sight lines are an issue:
  • Preferably slash/mow ONLY outside flowering and seeding times
  • Where possible restrict to 1 slasher/mower width from edge of road pavement
  • Clean machinery before leaving marked roadside area to prevent further spread of weed seeds and fragments

Weed Control

Woody Weeds

  • Apply only approved weed control methods

Grass weeds

  • Foliar spray control method* to be applied and is not suited to dense weed infestations

Aquatic weeds

  • Apply only approved weed control methods/herbicides for weeds located in a waterbody (e.g. drain). Ensure council is appropriately licensed if applying herbicide directly over water

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Appropriate weed control should be completed one week prior to the commencement of works
  • Preferably grade ONLY outside flowering and seeding times of significant weeds
  • Restrict grading to the existing road width or shoulder
  • Spoil containing weed material should be disposed of at a licensed waste facility, or if being reused on site kept within the marked roadside area
  • Clean machinery before leaving marked roadside area to prevent further spread of weed seeds and fragments

Grading

  • Appropriate weed control should be completed one week prior to the commencement of works
  • Preferably grade ONLY outside flowering and seeding times of significant weeds
  • Restrict grading to the existing road width or shoulder
  • Spoil containing weed material should be disposed of at a licensed waste facility, or if left on site, kept within the marked roadside area
  • Clean machinery before leaving marked roadside area to prevent further spread of weed seeds and fragments

Stockpiling and Vehicle Parking

  • Avoid stockpiling materials within marked roadside area
  • Only park vehicles and machinery in designated cleared areas

A1 – Aquatic

General Management Principles

Slashing/Mowing

  • No slashing/mowing where sigh lines are not an issue; or
  • Where sight lines are an issue:
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Avoid vehicles entering areas of native vegetation and wet soils
  • Where possible restrict to 1 slasher/mower width from edge of road pavement
  • Slash/mow minimum width along bends to maintain sight lines
  • Do not slash/mow beyond table train
  • Do not slash/mow less than 100 mm above ground surface
  • Prevent grass clippings from entering the waterbody or adjacent drains

Weed Control

  • Apply only low impact control methods. These include:
  • Where possible hand removal techniques
  • Cut/swab, cut stump, stem scrape* technique for Woody Weeds
  • Foliar spot spraying* technique for herbaceous weeds
  • Apply only approved weed control methods/herbicides for weeds located in the actual Ensure council is appropriately licensed if apply herbicide directly over water
  • Contact Council’s Weeds Officer for further advice

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Minimize extent of vegetation clearing. Removal of native vegetation and native plant restoration works should only be completed in accordance with an approve Review of Environment Factors (REF)
  • Avoid heavy machinery entering marked roadside area
  • Clean any machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments

Grading

  • Do not move spoil against native trees and vegetation or place where it may cause sediment pollution of the wetland. Where possible remove all spoil from the site
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • For sealed roads do not grade beyond existing road shoulder
  • For unsealed roads do not grad beyond existing road width

Cleaning table drains

  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Ensure disturbed sediment from drain cleaning does not enter wetland
  • Where possible do not deepen or widen the table drain
  • Do not move spoil against native trees and vegetation or place where it may cause sediment pollution of the wetland. Where possible remove all spoil from the site
  • Where possible maintain groundcover vegetation within drains

A2 – Water Crossings

General Management Principles

Slashing/mowing

  • No slashing/mowing where sight lines are not an issue or;
  • Where sights lines are an issue:
  • Avoid driving vehicles on areas of vegetation and waterway banks
  • Prevent grass clippings from entering the waterway or adjacent drains
  • Restrict to 1 slasher/mower width from road edge
  • Do not slash/mow beyond table drain
  • Do not slash/mow less than 100 mm above ground surface

Weed Control

  • Apply only approved weed control methods/herbicides for weeds located in the riparian zone or over the actual body
  • Apply only low impact control methods within 50 m of waterways. These include:
  • Cut/swab, cut stump, stem scrape* technique for Woody Weeds
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Ensure council is appropriately licensed for these activities

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Ensure appropriate sediment control measures control measures are put in place when working within 50 m of a waterway, e.g. sediment fencing
  • Where possible, remove spoil from site
  • Where possible, do not remove/cutback native shrubs or trees within 50 m of waterways
  • Removal of native vegetation and native plant restoration works should only be completed in accordance with an approved REF – contact supervisor for advice
  • Avoid machinery entering roadside verge

Grading

  • Do not move spoil against vegetation or place where it may cause sediment pollution of the waterway. Where possible remove all spoil from the site for sealed roads
  • For sealed roads do not grade beyond existing road shoulder
  • For unsealed roads do not grade beyond existing road width
  • Avoid machinery entering marked roadside verge

Stockpiling and Vehicle Parking

  • Avoid stockpiling materials within a marked roadside area
  • Only park vehicle and machinery in designated cleared areas

Cleaning Tables and Mitre Drains

  • Ensure disturbed sediment from drain cleaning does not enter the waterway. Where possible remove all spoil from the site
  • Where possible do not remove groundcover vegetation, only remove vegetation that may prevent water from flowing
  • Where possible do not deepen or widen the table drain
  • Do not move spoil against vegetation or place where it may wash into the waterway

F1 – Threatened Fauna Habitat

General Management Principles

Slashing/Mowing

  • No slashing/mowing where sight lines are not an issue; or
  • Where sight lines are an issue:
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible restrict to 1 slasher/mower width from edge of road pavement
  • Do no slash/mow beyond the table drain
  • Slash/mow minimum width along bends to maintain sight lines
  • Do not slash/mow less than 100 mm above ground surface

Weed Control

  • Apply only low impact control methods. These include:
  • Where possible hand removal techniques
  • Cut/swab, cut stump, stem scrape* technique for Woody Weeds
  • Foliar spot spraying* technique for herbaceous weeds
  • Contact Council’s Weeds Officer for further advice

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Removal of native vegetation and native plant restoration works should only be completed in accordance with an approved Review of Environment Factors (REF)
  • Avoid heavy machinery entering marked roadside area
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Avoid removing fallen logs, bush rock, trees with hollows and nesting trees

Grading

  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation/trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • For sealed roads do not grade beyond existing road shoulder
  • For unsealed roads do no grade beyond existing road width

Stockpiling and Vehicle Parking

  • Avoid stockpiling materials within marked roadside area
  • Only park vehicles and machinery in designated cleared areas

Cleaning Table Drains

  • Clean machinery before entering site to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible, do not deepen or widen the table drain
  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation and trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • Where possible, maintain ground cover vegetation within drains

F2 – Significant Fauna Habitat

General Management Principles

Slashing/Mowing

  • No slashing/mowing where sight lines are not an issue; or
  • Where sight lines are an issue:
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible restrict to 1 slasher/mower width from edge of road pavement
  • Do not slash/mow beyond the table drain
  • Slash/mow minimum width along bends to maintain sight lines
  • Do not slash/mow less than 100 mm above ground service

Weed Controls

  • Apply only low impact control methods. These include:
  • Where possible hand removal techniques
  • Cut/swab, cut stump, stem scrape* technique for Woody Weeds
  • Foliar spot spraying* technique for herbaceous weeds
  • Contact Council’s Weeds Officer for further advice

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Removal of native vegetation and native plant restoration works should only be completed in accordance with and approved Review of Environmental Factors (REF)
  • Avoid heavy machinery entering marked roadside area
  • Clean any machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Avoid removing fallen logs, bush rock, trees with hallows and nesting trees

Grading

  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation/trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside area
  • Clean machinery before entering marked roadside area to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • For sealed roads do not grade beyond existing road shoulder
  • For unsealed roads do not grade beyond existing road width

Stockpiling and Vehicle Parking

  • Avoid stockpiling materials within roadside area
  • Only park vehicles and machinery in designated cleared areas

Cleaning Table Drains

  • Clean machinery before entering site to prevent introduction of weed seeds and fragments
  • Where possible, do not deepen of widen the table drain
  • Do not move spoil against native vegetation and trees and where possible remove all spoil from marked roadside are
  • Where possible, maintain ground cover vegetation within drains

F3 – Koala Black Spots

General Management Principles

Slashing/Mowing

  • Slash/mow existing roadside verges (grassed areas only) to the maximum width possible. This will improve motorist visibility of koalas on the road verge
  • Increase frequency of roadside slashing/mowing (minimum once a month) from September to February. This is the koala breeding season during which they are most active

Clearing and Construction Works

  • Minimise extent of vegetation clearing within marked roadside area. Retaining native vegetation and trees in marked areas will provide potential habitat and refuge for koalas

Driver Awareness

  • Where possible install koala warning signs to alert motorists to the potential presence of koalas

 

To date the program has included:

  • Widespread consultation with councils to identify roadside management issues
  • Identifying and documenting the value of icon roadside vegetation remnants across the region
  • Developing a region wide Roadside Environmental Management Strategy
  • Developing a Roadside Resource Kit including management guides, policy templates and tools to build the capacity of councils to manage roadside environments
  • Implementation of a regional roadside environment marker scheme to identify and improve management practices at ecologically sensitive sites
  • Implementation of on ground works targeting the protection and rehabilitation of ecologically significant communities located in roadsides.