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Good turnout for lagoon planting

Community planting at Okorewa Lagoon. PHOTOS/OLIVER VETTER

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Lucy McWhirter and daughter Rosie take part in planting at Okorewa Lagoon.

A strong turnout at Saturday’s public planting session at Okorewa Lagoon at Lake Ferry had around 1800 native plants added to vegetation at the wetland.

The project was a joint initiative involving the South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group, Sustainable Coastlines, Department of Conservation and Greater Wellington Regional Council with more than 50 people coming to help.

Biodiversity Group secretary Brian King was delighted with the response.

“It was the best I’ve seen, and I’ve been to the last four or five plantings we’ve done.

“It was great to see the number of people who wanted to help out – more than we were expecting.”

Native sedges and rushes were planted as part of a project to increase the habitat for the species of birds making use of the lagoon, which on Saturday included pied stilts, grey herons, pipits, yellow hammers, and paradise ducks.

King said the increased profile of environmental issues may have been a factor in the turnout of planters, with the School Strike 4 Climate protest taking place the day before.

“I think people are more aware that planting is an important part of restoration of diversity,” he said.

A channel is cut through the gravel to allow Lake Onoke to drain to the sea. PHOTO/PETE NIKOLAISON

Last week the regional council also carried out its regular clearing of gravel to allow Lake Onoke to drain to the sea, which was helpful in lowering water levels in the planting area.

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