Lifestyle block management plan template approved
Environment Canterbury today announced its approval of a lifestyle block management plan template for properties under 10 hectares in size.
The template has been developed by Environment Canterbury with the increasing number of lifestyle properties in mind.
Environment Canterbury Chief Executive Bill Bayfield said it was important to measure the environmental footprint of lifestyle properties, but that this should not be onerous because they tended to be low nutrient leachers.
Acknowledging how user friendly the template was, Mr Bayfield said it also met all the requirements of Schedule 7 of the Land & Water Regional Plan.
“While small holdings are not significant contributors to water quality issues, they make up a reasonable proportion of rural Canterbury, so collectively they do contribute.
“I hope the use of this template results in more understanding of the environmental risks associated with smaller landholdings and the benefits of recording and acting on farming information,” Mr Bayfield said.
“We encourage all farmers to prepare farm environment plans, and this is a simplified version tailored specifically to smaller properties.”
Farm consultant David Ashby is one who encourages use of the lifestyle block management plan.
“You have an effect on the environment whether you have 4 or 400 hectares,” he said. “This template will help lifestyle block and small land owners take responsibility for their on-farm actions.
“55,000 people live in Waimakiriri District and a large number live on small blocks. There are even 728 lifestyle blocks in Ashburton. If the landowner can see what the problem is and identify and understand the issues then environmental outcomes are more likely to be achieved.
“It could be as simple as making sure you don’t over irrigate, keeping rainfall records and looking for daily Evapotranspiration figures.
“If you look after the environment your lifestyle block will grow more grass/crops and also look better and be a pleasure to work and live in,” Mr Ashby said.
Under Schedule 7 of the Land & Water Regional Plan, landowners can use an approved, industry-prepared template and guidance material or they can use their own template, provided they follow Schedule 7.
The Environment Canterbury Lifestyle Block Management Plan template is available here or by contacting an Environment Canterbury Land Management Advisor through Customer Services, 0800 324 636.