Caring for streams requires practical approach

Practical stream management tips proved popular at a recent Waimakariri Irrigation Limited (WIL) field day held at Winston Gartery and Mike Brown’s adjoining Springbank farms.

The importance of fencing off waterways and low-lying areas, and good set-backs from streams were identified as key priorities by local environmental consultant Jamie McFadden.

Jamie also led a native planting demonstration of carex secta along a low-lying area of Winston Gartery’s farm, which has recently been enhanced with riparian planting. Carex secta was highlighted as a fast-growing native which is highly suitable for riparian planting.

“We want to create an ecosystem which will attract fish, insects, bird-life and enhance the biodiversity of the area,” said Jamie, who undertakes riparian, wetland, native bush and erosion control projects for landowners.

“Carex secta, toi toi, flax and cabbage trees are great for cleaning the water and taking up nutrients.”

Jamie also mentioned that a recent trial of kanuka in the Hurunui district has shown promising results in terms of nitrate up-take, prompting the need for further research in this area.

WIL environmental consultant Paul Reese took the opportunity to discuss the biodiversity stocktake and audit that WIL will carry out during the next few months.

The aim is to provide a ‘whole of catchment’ snapshot, which will identify areas of significant opportunity in terms of protecting and enhancing biodiversity.

“We see this as an important opportunity to identify rare plants and areas where we can look to enhance and improve the environment in terms of biodiversity,” said Paul.