Project Title: Planting native trees on a family farm to help the Porangahau

Funding Close Date: 30 Jun 2019

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay

Metres Planted:
1000 m

NZD $29000

Location: 1537 Porangahau Road Waipukurau

GPS Coordinates: -40.119816, 176.528186

Project Cost: NZD $29000

Cost per Metre: NZD $29

Metres to be planted: 1000m

Field Partner: Hawkes Bay Regional Council

Project ID: NI29

Project Description:

The Planting

Hi I’m Sam, our family (The Clark’s) have been farming “Airlie” at Wanstead since 1929. My wife Cookie and I have just taken over farming the 450ha working sheep and beef property and we now have the 5th generation living on the farm with the addition of our first son Archie.

My 4 siblings and I all grew up on the farm, swimming in the creek and playing in the bush as did the generations before us and hopefully those to come. It’s really important to us as a family to enhance and improve our environment for the future and this has motivated us in implementing the riparian project on Airlie. My mum and my brother James are especially mad about trees and have been a huge source of wisdom.

We’ve already done some planting on the farm in the past and always focused on using native plants. Some of the trees were grown from seeds ecosourced from small pockets of bush out the back of the farm and it has been great to watch them grow.

One of the focuses has been a main habitat corridor up the Wanstead valley that has been created for native wood pigeon and we’d like to offer them and other native birds more bush to find feed and living space. On top of that we hope that the number of frogs (they are a rarity all over the country) and hoverflys increases as well as other insects thus creating a small balanced ecosystem on our family property, so that future generations can also enjoy the variety of New Zealands native plants and animals.

The Creek

A creek that eventually flows into the Porangahau River runs through our property and has been cause of some major erosion issues in the past. My father remembers it still as a small ditch and it is eye-opening to see how flood water can change the banks without any natural structures to slow it down. We know that fencing the creek, keeping livestock away from it and planting with native plants and trees will really help with that. As the plants and trees grow they will hold back the soil, shading the stream and providing habitat for fish, birds and insects.

In February 2018 we fenced half the creek and we are planning to fence the entire stream that runs through our farm in the next 12 months. We’ve already started planting part of it and the whole family got together and helped. It was great to see the many generations planting for our future environment and we hope to have many more of these ”planting days”

About the Project

The first part of the project was the fencing of which we have accomplished half. In regards to planting the banks of the stream we still have a ways to go but are very proud of what we achieved so far. In 2018, we planted a variety from sedges nearer the water for filtration, tree lucerne as nursery trees, kahikatea, cabbage trees, flax, pittosporums, akeake, karamu, hebe, manuka, toetoe, etc., over 400 plants. The positioning dependent on the ground conditions and lie of the land. We used tree guards and each tree got a fertiliser tablet to give them the best possible start. 

We’re working with NZ Landcare Trust on the planting plan for the upcoming planting site. 

With your support we will plant 1,000 metres of the creek with 4,700 native plants and trees in 2019.

This creek flows into the Porangahau River. The River has issues with high sediment (suspended soil). Thus, the Porangahau catchment (all the streams and creeks that flow into the river) are a high priority for restoration for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

To combat erosion along the creek, we will plant sedges, grasses and flaxes close to the stream and fast-growing trees and shrubs that have good root systems to hold the stream bank. Trees and shrubs include cabbage tree, kahikatea, karamu, koromiko, totara, kanuka and manuka.

Your Support

This project is being implemented by our family to give back to our land and environment and to shape New Zealand for the future generations. So far all the costs of the project have been carried by the Farm.

For the future of this project your support will be greatly appreciated to help us with the costs of tree releasing, obtaining more trees, planting and weed control.

Progress Photos: