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Oasis on the Mangawara

Last week Waikato RiverCare’s operations manager, Kevin Hutchinson, and Waikato Regional Council Land Drainage Zone Officer, Steve Edwards, visited the Lane property on Mangawhara Road. Although much of the Mangawara catchment is fenced to exclude stock from waterways, very little of the catchment has been planted. Ten years ago Christine and Bruce Lane concerned with bank erosion and silt loading in the Mangawara Stream fenced out stock on the 1100m of stream in their property and started a riparian project using a mix of native and exotic tree species.

The planting project is a real success story and credit to the Lane family who continue to plant and maintain the riparian project. The project has achieved and exceeded many of the Lane’s goals providing not only habitat and food for birds, better bank stability and shading for native fish but also a quiet spot to relax and unwind during those hot dry summer months. NIWA have electric fished the stream through the Lane property recording long fin eel, common bully, inanga and fresh water crayfish (kōura).

Christine and Bruce are active members of a land care group focused on promoting and showcasing the benefits of riparian planting to their neighbours in the Mangawara Stream catchment. Each year with assistance from the Waikato Regional Council plants are provided to landowners keen to establish new riparian plantings or infill established plantings on the Mangawara Stream.

If you have an interest in starting a riparian project on a stream or waterway (lakes included) resources are available to help you get started. Both Waikato RiverCare and the Waikato Regional Council have excellent resources available on-line covering everything from plant selection to avoiding common mistakes in establishing your project.

Waikato RiverCare thanks the Lane’s for their generous hospitality and wishes them all the best.

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