Ten thousand dollars given to restore and protect native bush in Hurunui

Eight landowners will share $10,000 in grant money to help restore and protect areas of native bush on their properties within the Hurunui district.

They are this year’s recipients of the Mainpower Hurunui Natural Environment Fund, established to encourage and assist with voluntary work that benefits the natural environment.

The focus is on work that enhances or restores indigenous vegetation, wetlands or bird habitat.

The money from this year’s awards will be used to fence off or plant sites in Amberley, Cheviot, Culverden, Hawarden, Greta Valley, Omihi, Waikari, and Waipara.

This includes an area of Bruce Johns property in Culverden that once protected he intends to make accessible to the general public. He will use his 1600 dollar grant to fence two to three hectares of dry land, in a gully on a dry land hill, which comprises Carex, which is original, and if protected would enhance the area as a wetland area.

John Acton Adams of Amberley receives 1800 dollars to extend existing fence lines to keep sheep and cattle out of two sites of parallel bush gullies running down the north eastern side of Mt Grey.

Extending the fencing will seal a significant part of what is already a designated significant natural area (SNA).

John and Judy McMillan of Waikari also receive 1800 dollars to erect fencing to encourage an area of secondary hardwood scrub and shrub land to regenerate and to control ecologically problematic weeds.

The site is considered a very valuable small sub-catchment shrub land that is under-represented in the area.

Ben Cassidy receives $900 to stock proof an area of indigenous vegetation along a spring, wetland and stream on his Hawarden property.

The area contains both pre-existing significant wetland botanical values and potential for restoration of riparian and dry terrace planting which is rare in an area where similar environments have either been developed or are infested with Willows.

Nigel Fraser has for a number of years been progressively protecting an area of indigenous lowland forest on his Greta Valley property to help restore new bush growth under a Kanuka canopy.

He receives $900 for fencing to protect the fully from live-stock erosion which will also lead to improved water quality.

Three landowners also receive a thousand dollars each to help reinstate indigenous vegetation on their properties.

Mark and Louise Eder of Omihi, who have already planted out a number of areas, will use their grant money to help restore a lowland wetland that drains to the Omihi Creek, one of the few sites that has not yet been drained or filled in in the district.

The Eders plan to plant out 2500 plants over five years.

Daryl Harris will use his grant money to plant out a lowland gully in natives contributing to the efforts of the wider Waipara community to re-establish functioning ecosystems.

The highly visible site is immediately adjacent to SH1 and establishing a self-sustaining patch of push will there will contribute significantly to local biodiversity.

The Sisters Stream in Parnassus, which is becoming choked with fallen Willows, will benefit from grant money awarded to Peter Montgomery of Cheviot who aims to remove the Willows and restore the creek bed to its shingly bottom. The stream would then be fenced off and native plantings restored as appropriate.

The Mainpower Hurunui Natural Environment Fund is only open to residents and ratepayers of the Hurunui District – individuals or groups – for work relating to either private or public land.

It is a contestable fund, in which there is $10,000 of which $7,000 is earmarked for projects that are protecting existing areas, and $3,000 for projects creating new areas.

The fund is not available:

• For work that there is a legal obligation to do;

• To compensate for work already done. It is intended to assist with the cost of future work;

• For the entire cost of a project. It will complement the applicant’s contributions;

• For beautification projects, or to support those driven primarily for financial gain; or

• To past recipients of the fund.

For further information:

Clayton Wallwork

Biodiversity Field Advisor

Hurunui District Council

P: 03 314 0059