Project preparation began in March at two Waikato RiverCare restoration sites with the removal of mature exotic trees.
At the Mangawara Stream project, careful operation of a 12 tonne digger has removed patches of Hawthorn, Grey Willow and Crack Willow trees from within the 1.25Ha Totara and Kahikatea stand. The work focused on removing mature exotic trees from the drainage corridor under Council management within the stand and large woody debris likely to damage new fencing assets in a flood event. The Waikato Regional Council team involved in the day long operation did a fantastic job carefully working around the 100-200 year old trees to avoid long-term damage to the stand. This digger work has fast forwarded Waikato RiverCare’s restorations plans for the site by six months with additional weed control planned for later this year following fencing and stock exclusion from the stand.
Meanwhile, tree work at the Taupiri Ki Weanganui site got underway with the felling of mature pine trees located along the planned new fence line with Stevenson Properties Ltd and the Waikato District Council. This significant 3.27ha project completes stock exclusion between Taupiri and Huntly and includes a local important backwater wetland. The removal of the pine trees will make fencing a lot easier for Barakat Contractors this month without overhead branches to deal with and extend the life of the fence with significantly less chance of trees falling across the wires.
Lessee John Holland sees the removal of the pines as a win-win for both land managers and he will rest easier knowing his stock will be secure on the right side of the new fence. Waikato RiverCare plans to start planting at this project in August this year with a variety of native eco-sourced plants.
Both projects are excellent examples of getting tangible results achieved on the ground through collaboration and the sharing of resources. Project funding has been provide by groups such as the Waikato River Authority, WCEET and the Tainui/MRP partnership with significant in-kind support from the Waikato Regional Council, Waikato District Council and landowners.
The photos below show the Mangawara site before and after digger work.
The photos below show the pine harvesting work at Taupiri Ki Weanganui: