Highlights from the Plantout Tour 2016
Selwyn residents gathered on Saturday April 16th to learn about native planting on the Canterbury Plains and hear from experts and other landowners.
“I gained in extensive knowledge of the basic steps for planning, planting and maintenance for native trees in a variety of places across Selwyn. The Speakers took time to explain the benefits and difficulties of planting in each place. I’m now inspired to plant natives myself. We were a warmly welcomed group by Te Ara Kakariki- Canterbury Greenway Trust. I felt privileged to learn first hand from the native greendot landowners also”. (Julia Guthrey – participant)
Sue Cumberworth (Te Ara Kakariki Trustee and Co-Chair - Tai Tapu resident) shared her impressions: “Seeing the plant growth of 2, 4, or 6 years after we planted them is so rewarding. To see the habitat in action with insects in birds is a success. I was particularly interested to hear the key speakers, such as Mike (Mike Bowie, Lincoln University) share about insects and monitoring that the school children undertake.
I learnt so much from Jason (Jason Butt, Waiora Forest Landscapes) about the vegetation around the lake. I had no idea about the populations of rushes, grasses, native nettle, and the natural low number of woody plants near the lake”.
What is TAK about?
The amount of remaining native vegetation in Canterbury is one of the lowest in New Zealand. Less than 1% of the original vegetation remains and the majority of the region is classified as either ‘acutely threatened’ and ‘at risk’ or ‘critically under-protected’ (Walker, et al., 2006). In the Selwyn District the situation is even more critical where less than 0.5% of the native vegetation remains (Meurk, pers. comm.).
The Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway Canterbury Trust was established in 2006 to promote native plants and native plant communities on the Canterbury Plains. TAK is a community initiative that meets the needs of a growing number of people wishing to make use of native plants – for all reasons. The name was inspired by the native Kākāriki – the endangered yellow-crowned and orange-fronted green parakeets. Te Ara means pathway and Kākāriki also means green.
Kākāriki, the Yellow-crowned (Cyanoramphus auriceps) and Orange-fronted Parakeet (C. malherbi) are an icon species and inspiration for Te Ara Kākāriki, rather than the focus of our concept. It is the long term vision of the project to see the return of these species to the Plains area. Historic records suggest that in the later years of the 1800s, when beech tree seed was bountiful during mast seeding years, the parakeets would have a breeding boom and disperse from upland valley forest onto the Canterbury Plains.
A major objective of the Trust is to encourage and provide assistance to both public and private landowners in the protection of existing indigenous vegetation and in the establishment of new areas of biodiversity plantings, otherwise known as “Greendots”.
We are always looking for financial support, interested landowners, and volunteers to get involved with the work of the Trust to build on the progress being made across the Canterbury plains. For more information on TAK, see the TAK brochure.
Our Canterbury Plantout sponsors in 2015: Gold sponsor – Living Water, a partnership between the Department of Conservation and Fonterra. Silver Sponsor – Selwyn District Council. And all our other sponsors: Environment Canterbury, The Canterbury Community Trust, The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Waihora Ellesmere trust.