Farmers proudly taking the reins
Waiau farmers Shaun, Lynn, Ben and Rachel Lissington, are working hard to ensure the best outcome is achieved for a wetland on their property.
The family own and manage Ardan View Farm in the North Canterbury town and recently hosted an open day on-site to show neighbours, fellow farmers and industry experts the wetland they’re enhancing.
The NZ Landcare Trust hosted the event held at the end of April. NZLT is working with the family to look after the wetland as part of the Managing Wetlands as Farm Assets project; one of the 14 sites between Kaikōura and Otematata NZLT is helping farmers improve.
Environment Canterbury (ECan) proudly supports the three-year project with governance expertise, technical advice and also co-funds the work alongside Lissingtons. The project aims to work with farmers and the wider community to provide advice and share knowledge about the range of benefits both natural and constructed wetlands offer the farming system, environment and community.
NZLT Project Coordinat
or Tony Watson said the idea of the field day was to get farmers to think more about individual wetlands and what can be done with them.
“It again just proved farmers do care about their environment,” he said.
Tony said there are varying levels of work required at the 14 demonstration sites the Trust is managing.
“Some wetlands need a little bit of enhancement through fencing off, reducing any grazing pressure and letting the native plants get away and do their own thing. Others need some planting and weed control,” he said.
“The idea is to help each wetland function properly as a wetland to reduce nutrient levels in the water/improve water quality and enhance the wetland’s biodiversity,” he added.
Environment Canterbury principal biodiversity advisor Jason Butt took part in the field day and said he enjoyed the experience.
“Everyone was so open to learning and willing to ask questions. It was super beneficial across the board,” he said.
Jason hopes it encourages others to participate in future field days and engage with ECan and NZ Landcare Trust.