Horizons Regional Council were joined by students on a Tokomaru dairy farm today to expand a wetland that filters the majority of surface run-off as it leaves the property.
Over 60 students from Palmerston North Boys’ High School and Opiki School mucked in to assist the landowners John and Philippa Bates with getting 1,500 plants in the ground.
Horizons freshwater advisor Anna Regtien says the plants create a buffer zone around the established wetland and associated stream which has had stock excluded.
“This wetland is at a low-lying point on the farm which means a lot of surface run-off is funnelled through the area,” she says.
“The more plants in the area to help filter run-off, the better for water quality and native fish. Both the wetland, and the stream that connects to it, are tributaries to the Tokomaru River so this work on farm benefits the wider catchment as well.”
Mrs Regtien says the Bates were recipients of a Horizons freshwater grant which supports projects that aim to help with improving water quality.
“We provided 50 per cent funding for the plants and advice on what plants are best to plant where. In total approximately 2.2 hectares of wetland area has had stock excluded and will continue to be planted over the next couple of years thanks to the grant.”
John and Philippa’s daughter Megan has been the main instigator for planting on the farm and organised the day.
“Over the past five years we’ve started replanting natives so areas like this the wetland can reestablish,” she says.
“We’ve been working with Horizons for the last three years and have received grants for planting which is great. Days like today are a good way to improve biodiversity on your farm, get the community involved and help restore what you’ve got to what it originally was.”
Mrs Regtien says while this planting is one of the last for 2019, Horizons is already receiving requests for assistance for next planting season.
“For anyone else who has a stream fencing or riparian planting project in mind and would like to learn more about Horizons’ freshwater grants, please get in touch with our freshwater team by ringing 0508 800 800.”
For more information about the planting work Horizons does across the region follow their #plantinourregion campaign on social media every winter or see www.horizons.govt.nz