Waihora Ellesmere Catchment Riparian Restoration Programme
How did it start?
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, the Waihora Ellesmere Trust successfully sought funding to implement an extensive programme of riparian planting.
The project started in 2008 and run till 2011. Over the three years in excess of 50,000 natives plants were established at over 20 different locations. A summary of the project can be accessed by clicking on this link.
In addition to receiving support from Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council and others, funding for the riparian restoration programme came 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.
Waihora Ellesmere Trust 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. The Trust continued to work with landowners to ensure the projects received ongoing maintenance until they were self supporting.
As part of the restoration programme, and in conjunction with a number of other parties, priority catchments were identified. These were: Hororata, LI/LII/Liffey, Waikekewai, Kaituna, Johnsons Rd, Waianiwaniwa, Silverstream, Leeston and a continued focus on the Halswell catchment.
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.
What did we learn?
For all the sites we have been involved in plant communities were selected 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
Have a look at what was achieved
Waihora Ellesmere Trust and the Sustainable Drain Management team put together a simple guide to some of the riparian restoration sites around the catchment.
The guide features 12 sites planted between 2008 and 2011, as part of the Waihora Ellesmere Catchement Riparian Restoration Programme, plus suggestions of a few more established sites that can be visited.
If you’d like to see how our waterways can be transformed, these sites are well worth a visit.
Other related information
Our Research page includes some information and links to some recent research projects undertaken by Lincoln University postgraduate students, and which relate to this project.