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‘New season brings to life full scope of Hurunui’s Birdsong Project’

A new season is bringing to life the full scope of Hurunui’s Birdsong ecological restoration project.

Hurunui Mayor Marie Black and Hurunui’s councillors visited the site recently with Council’s Water and Land coordinator Rima Herber and Birdsong Co-chair Dave Nicholls to view progress since planting began this winter.

Hurunui District Mayor Marie Black says the project’s progress is testament to the community’s ownership of the project, which was launched in April this year.

“It’s only by going out and seeing the full scope of what is being done that you can get a comprehensive sense of what has been achieved. The planting season has now ended with 2,000 plants put in the ground, all through volunteering over nine planting days.”

Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) donated over 1,000 plants for this year’s planting season.

A philanthropic donation of $100,000 towards the project allowed planting, fencing and administrative duties to be fast-tracked.

The project on the Scargill Motunau Reserve aims to eventually restore more than 10 hectares of land back to native vegetation and to bring back the abundant birdlife that the area previously supported.

Council’s Water and Land coordinator will work with the project’s ecologist and the Birdsong Trust on plans for the next three years, which will include 8,000 plants, tracks, bridges, a trapping programme, work on the website and data collection.

“Community ownership of the reserve has a proud history,” says Mayor Black. “Walking through the site, it was impressive to see the oak forest, extensive redwoods and conifers that have been planted over the years, and it’s rewarding to see the native planting as an extension to these.”


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