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East Harbour planting plots taking off

November 5, 2019

Planting plots which have been established in East Harbour Regional Park are taking off, making way for more native plants to flourish along the hillsides.

A collaborative effort from Greater Wellington Regional Council and volunteer group Mainland Island Restoration Operation (MIRO), has seen 13 successful planting plots across the park over the past 13 years.

East Harbour Park Ranger Jo Greenman says the success of the plots’ pioneer plants means light-wells are now able to be created in some areas.

“Some of the original plants have grown so well they needed to be cut down by a chainsaw. We will remove some of the pioneer plants to make room for canopy trees. These trees should be able to flourish under the protection of the pioneer species.

“These plots have been fenced off from pest animals, have a good base soil and some of them have even started producing their own seeds for natural regeneration.”

While Greater Wellington organises and funds the fencing of the plots, MIRO dedicate their own time to planting days, seed collection and growing plants in their nursery, Jo explains.

“We help with transport of volunteers to the lakes area for releasers and planters, and organise the Rōpū Tiaki planting day with Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust.”

MIRO have planted a mixture of native and introduced plant species in the plots including manuka, taupata, kahikatea and totara.

Jo says the next stage of ensuring the success of the planting is to concentrate on keeping stock (sheep and cattle) and goats out of East Harbour’s lakes block.

“We are working with our neighbours to look at options for goat control in order to reduce their impact on the native vegetation.

“This will enable natural regeneration and give the seeds from the planting plots a chance to germinate and grow outside the plots, as well as reduce the need for fencing.”

ends

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