Project Description

We conducted a drone survey of William Upton Hewitt Memorial Reserve, west of Whangarei, that had been damaged by fire.


Amy Bazeley, principal ecologist with AB Ecology, based in Tutukaka.


20 percent of the 268 ha William Upton Hewitt Memorial Reserve, a native bush reserve near Pipiwai, west of Whangarei, had been damaged by fire. Amy needed an up-to-date, objective record of the site to compile a report about the current state of the reserve, covering fire damage and weed infestation, and communicate with numerous stakeholders around New Zealand who hadn’t been there. It was challenging to move around the site on foot, as walking tracks were minimal and overgrown.


We walked throughout the property, taking precision GPS ground measurements. Then, we flew a drone over the site which required five flights over three hours, taking 1100 photos, to produce a detailed map and 3D model of the site. This would be used to identify damaged areas of vegetation, and areas infested with weeds. In a few years’ time, we will repeat our process to measure the results of restoration initiatives at the reserve, and document change. We provided Amy with:
•  An orthophoto incorporating precision ground control points
•  DEM (Digital Elevation Model)
•  KMZ – which opens in Google Earth
•  Oblique aerials.

“Aerial Vision captured high quality, detailed aerials over a complex site that enabled us to accurately pinpoint vegetation types and weed infestation areas in a large Northland reserve. The whole experience of working with the team at Aerial Vision was excellent from the initial consultation, through the actual flight field day and then to data processing and presentation. Debs provided excellent communication throughout the project and was very helpful to me in the technical bits regarding downloading and assimilating the aerial information in Google Earth. I will definitely be using them again in our jobs that need professional drone footage.”

  • Amy Bezeley, principal ecologist, AB Ecology

Project Details


AB Ecology


  • Aerial surveying

Related Portfolios