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Going bush for a good cause

PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

PAM GRAHAM
[email protected]

In years to come, a stretch of the Waiohine River bank near Greytown will look the part as a bush habitat after more than 500 native trees were planted there on Sunday.

Organiser Ron Sharpe said it was a magic day.

“It’s brilliant – look at the age groups of people here,” he said. “There were people in their 80s here today, down to toddlers,” he said.

The planting was on part of a 13ha block owned by Greater Wellington Regional Council and the council did the prep work.

Des Peterson said the council was keen to work with Friends of the River groups and there was already an active one for the Waipoua River.

He said the work of a friends group for the Otaki River had been mind-blowing, with the group planting more than half a million trees over 25 years.

The Waiohine group started a few weeks ago.

Sharpe said the group was taking a holistic approach to its work.

“About 300m from here, we took down a tree and running along the trunk once it was down was the most beautiful, big, jewelled gecko and they are very rare.”

So the group would be careful to make sure it created environments for reptiles before it cleared any vegetation they might be living in.

The objective was also to create bird corridors and iwi had expressed an interest in a demonstration planting of native medicinal trees and herbs as an educational facility and the same with the different survival
food plants.

There was an absolute tsunami of conservation groups developing, with about 40 in Wairarapa alone, he said.

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