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South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group Inc planning day

May 15, 2019 May 2019 No Comments

Planting at Okorewa Lagoon.

On Sunday 26 May, South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group (SWBG) will have its 7th annual planting day at Ōkorewa Lagoon, which is at Lake Ferry just past the hotel and before the beach.  Once in the path of the Ruamahanga River out to sea, the waterway is now cut off and has become a peaceful lagoon.   

This planting event has grown in recent years and in May 2018 about 60 people attended, planting over 2000 native shrubs and grasses in the area surrounding the lagoon.  While a challenging site due to occasional flooding, there is huge potential for improving both the environment and the amenity value for visitors.  The lagoon has historic significance as it was once rich in kai moana, including tuna (longfish eel).  Now the area is popular with tourists and locals, and is also visited by a range of birds including species not commonly seen, like spoonbill.

Support for the planting days comes from Greater Wellington Regional Council as part of Wairarapa Moana.  There has been help also from DOC who enabled SWBG to put in a bollard and rope barrier, and Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust with volunteers and logistics on the day.

Another SWBG activity is the annual Farming for the Future conference, which is run in collaboration with Mangatarere Restoration Society and Perception Planning.  This was held recently in Carterton and attended by about 160 people.  The conference has been an annual fixture since 2014, and has helped farmers and others learn more  about the natural environment, and ways to reduce our environmental footprint. The speakers are farmers, business people and researchers, and themes in past conferences have included technical innovation, water and climate change.  https://www.farmingforthefuture.org.nz/   

SWBG also runs “After 5” visits to rural projects during the summer months.  These are usually on private property, enabling participants to see projects ranging from a predator proof enclosure to protect rare skinks and geckos, to a wetland project.  

SWBG’s most recent initiative is Predator Free Martinborough which aims to have as many locals as possible actively trapping for rats and other pests on their own properties.

If you would like to know more about the 26 May planting day or any of SWBG’s other initiatives, contact Jane Lenting on swbg@xtra.co.nz  

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