Waihora Ellesmere Catchment Riparian Restoration Programme
Following the Living Lake Symposium in 2007, there was general agreement that riparian, or water edge, planting with natives would be beneficial for the different values of the Lake and catchment. With a track record of successful projects, WET successfully sought funding to implement an extensive programme of riparian planting.
In addition to support we receive from Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council and others, funding for the riparian restoration programme has come from the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry Sustainable Farming Fund (funding over 3 years until June 2011) and the Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Management Fund (funding for one year to October 2010). We also secured funding from WWF and DoC for restoration of Canterbury mudfish habitat.
WET has worked collaboratively with landowners and others including ECan, SDC, Ngai Tahu, DoC, Fish & Game, MAF, MfE, community organisations, streamcare groups, businesses, schools, research organisations and volunteers. Over the last 2 years in excess of 50,000 native plants have been established at over 20 different sites. WET will work with landowners to ensure projects receive ongoing maintenance until they are self supporting.
As part of the restoration programme, and in conjunction with a number of other parties, we have identified some priority catchments, where we are particulary keen to focus attention. These are: Hororata, LI/LII/Liffey, Waikekewai, Kaituna, Johnsons Rd, Waianiwaniwa, Silverstream, and Leeston. WET will also continue working in the Halswell catchment. Contact us if you would like advice and assistance with finding funding for site preparation and planting of appropriate native species.
Staff and students from Lincoln University have compiled a report profiling each of the priority catchments. The profiles are presented as snaphots and include data that contributed to the prioritisation and data from research undertaken subsequently. There are many gaps in the information as recorded and it is hoped that this will inspire future research.
You can also download our information pack, a series of information sheets, here (1.6MB).
For all the sites we have been involved with, plant communities have been designed to suit the specific location and to perform a range of functions:
- protecting and stabilising stream banks
- reducing erosion
- allowing flood waters to pass freely
- creating shade, which reduces weed growth in waterways
- improving water quality – a buffer between land use and waterways traps sediments and nutrients
- improving stream health
- enhancing biodiversity by providing corridors for wildlife
The Old Tai Tapu Road streamcare group and the planting at Osterholts Rd is an example of a restoration project carried out as part of this programme.
The extensive riparian planting and other work carried out at Mitchell’s Rd to protect the endangered the Canterbury mudfish was also part of the programme.