Huzzah! We just finished planting 3,000 native Trees into retired farmland at Tūmai Beach farm park, alongside Te Hakapupu (Pleasant River) estuary.The Tūmai Beach Restoration Trust, who steer the kaupapa, is extremely grateful for support from the Rotary Forests of Peace, Remembrance and Community project.
Tūmai farm park is owned by a coalition of 16 families that co-manage around 34 hectares of communally owned land between their house lots. Our Trust’s environmental enhancement plan proposes to restore native forest on half of the communal land.
We started in 2009 at ground zero: apart from a few remnant broadleafs clinging to the coastal cliffs, the only woody plants on the land following 150 years of sheep and beef farming were four matagouri bushes and 8 hawthorn and elderberry trees. So far, we have planted around 35,000 native trees. We reckon we have about 70,000 to go.
The Rotary Trees grant was a tremendous bonus for us this year! The ground we targeted is very steep and therefore not suitable for assault by bands of volunteer eco-warriors wielding sharp spades, however enthusiastic and fearless they might be.So we hired Monowai Ecological to do the planting using the Rotary Trees funds. Monowai are an efficient, knowledgeable, and flexible team of native planting professionals based in Dunedin. The Kiwi Gaming Foundation also helped us buy plant protectors. We are plagued by hares and rabbits and the protectors also help cut the persistent coastal wind that dries the ground and seedlings.The remaining funds, time and labour were provided by the Tūmai farm park owners.
This year we planted ‘Rotary Trees’ at two sites (1.3 and 1.1 ha). We recently planted native forests to create an ecological corridor between the two patches. We hope to plant 5,000 trees in each of the next two years to extend the forest and link it all into a mosaic of pasture and native forest.
A few photos of the Monowai Ecological team who did the hard yards.
Time to celebrate a milestone at Tūmai Beach farm park