Over 200 native plants grown from seedlings at Brian and Rosemary Whyte’s Swannanoa farm have been planted along a 500m2 section of the Burgess Stream that winds through the couple’s property as part of an on-farm revegetation project.
The trial nursery project enables Waimakariri Irrigation Limited (WIL) shareholders like Brian and Rosemary to grow their own native seedlings which they then use for projects to improve biodiversity on their land.
Biodiversity project lead Dan Cameron says by growing the plants onsite, farmers are saving on costs and the plants tend to have a good survival rate as they are already adapted to the local conditions.
“It has been exciting to see the progress of the plants from seedlings just over a year ago to having over 1000 ready to plant along the edge of the stream. We are looking forward to getting the rest of these plants in the ground during future volunteer planting days.”
A mixture of toitoi, harakeke (flax) and ti toki (cabbage tree) have been planted along the upper banks of Burgess Stream the water’s edge contains a dense planting of Carex secta and Edgar’s rush.
Having students from Swannanoa School involved in the project has been a bonus, says Dan.
“The students are so enthusiastic about this project, and they have a greenhouse at their school where they are growing their own native seedlings too.
“They are keen to come back and help out with more planting days.”
The project will take around three years to complete and forms part of a wider riparian planting and wetland restoration plan focusing on 1600 hectares of WIL shareholder owned land in the Burgess Stream and Old Eyre River catchment.