Waikato RiverCare Inc. has received funding approval from the Waikato River Authority to complete three new restoration projects. Two sites are located in the Mangawara Stream catchment and the third is located in the middle of Huntly Township just south of Tainui Bridge on the Waikato River.
Project work has already begun with the first round of site preparation completed by Spray Rig Ltd on all three sites.
Over the next 12 months contractors will focus on cleaning up the sites and controlling pest plants and weeds in preparation for planting in August 2017.
Waikato RiverCare Inc. is also doing some exciting work at the two Mangawara projects undertaking pest animal control, a first for the charity.
Last month the Landon family received four traps designed to trap rats, mustelids and hedgehogs, while still being safe to use around livestock and children. They have already started predator control at the oxbow project and caught rats within the first week! Two additional kill traps will be set up at the McConnell Road project and it is hoped that they too will be just as successful.
A significant challenge of the two oxbow projects is the close proximity of weeds to established mature native tree stands. Despite the challenge, these projects provide an opportunity to protect and enhance high value forest remnants and their surrounding wetland habitat which once covered the Waikato’s lowland. The preservation of these mature trees are a high priority for Waikato RiverCare Inc. as preserving these trees provides a link to the Waikato’s forest history and protects local plant genetics from being lost forever.
The Huntly Waterworks project currently has no native plant communities due to years of unrestricted stock grazing and the encroachment of pest plants. Recently the Waikato Regional Council fenced the planting zone of this project and started large scale pest plant control targeting the yellow flag iris. It’s hoped that by combining the resources of Waikato RiverCare Inc. and the Waikato Regional Council will successfully turn this site from pest plant jungle to flourishing lowland native forest.
Waikato RiverCare Inc. looks forward to bringing you more update’s as these exciting projects progress. A huge thank you goes out to Waikato River Authority and Waikato Regional Council for their continued support of Waikato RiverCare Inc.’s restoration work.