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Trees on Farms: Exploring Hill Country Options

2 April 2012

Trees on Farms: Exploring Hill Country Options

26 April 2012
Tatham property
206 Mangaotaki Road, Piopio

Following successful workshops in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, the next Trees on Farms workshop will be held on the King Country property of Barrie and Jude Tatham, and will explore the role of trees in hill country farm management, particularly in marginal or less productive areas.

Barrie and Jude own a 500 ha drystock farm near Piopio, which they operate in a share-farming arrangement with Kieran and Shona Bradley, running cattle, dairy grazers and sheep. The Tathams are previous Waikato Farm Environment Award winners, and their farm is notable for the diversity of species they have planted for nutrient buffering, stock shade and beautification.

Tree plantings on the farm include a mix of radiata pine and other exotic species, as well as natives. They have planted thousands of native trees in recent years and around 40ha of land has been covenanted with the QEII National Trust. Pole planting has been used to stabilise potential slip areas, and with the help of Environment Waikato’s Clean Streams initiative, the Tathams are also protecting areas alongside the Mangaotaki River. Selected areas have been fenced off and planted with native species to protect the river bank.

However the Tathams’ property is dotted with rocky limestone outcrops and tomos. Where fencing off stream banks is not possible, they have focused on providing alternative water and stock shade away from streams. They have found this reduces the time stock spend in and around natural water and vulnerable gullies.

Specifically designed by knowledgeable, experienced tree-planting farmers and Agfirst consultants to meet local needs, this unique workshop will look at trees as an integral part of the whole agribusiness, with particular emphasis on choosing the appropriate species in the context of:

Trees in the farm business: How integrated land use strategies spread risk - and cash flow – and deliver both short-term and inter-generational benefits
Trees as a land management strategy: Wise land use and “fit for purpose” planting - erosion control, riparian management and water quality, weed control, managing trouble spots and erosion, and protecting valuable soils
Trees for animal welfare: Trees for shelter and fodder, managing waterways
Biodiversity: Saving remnants of native bush (it’s easy)
Trees and the ETS: Improving forestry cash flow and planting to offset on-farm emissions.

The programme starts at 9.30am and will finish at 3.30pm. All participants will receive complimentary handouts and a DVD of farm videos and workshop proceedings. Lunch will be provided at a cost of $10, with proceeds going to the Waitanguru & Districts Rural Women. For catering purposes please register by 20 April. For more information and to register email Malcolm Mackenzie at

The Trees on Farms workshops are being run as part of a three year programme throughout New Zealand with support from the Sustainable Farming Fund. Upcoming workshops include Palmerston North (Pohangina Valley, 21 May), Wairarapa (Carterton, 23 May), Otaki (26 May), Taranaki (Inglewood, 6 June) and Waikato (Putararu, 27 June). For more information about these workshops email the project manager Ian Nicholas at

9.30 - 9.55 am: Coffee/mingle
10.00 am - 12.35 pm: Woolshed presentations:
• Funding marginal land options
• Videos of successful local farm foresters - Tatham, Cumberland & Mackenzie
• Opportunities for natives and specialty timbers: Species options including natives, eucalypt, cypress, redwood, pine
• Panel discussion
12.35 pm: Lunch provided in woolshed
1.05 pm: Discussion in field. (4 wheel drive suggested):
• Regional council activities
• QEII opportunities
• Carbon opportunities
• Tree planting options
3.30 pm: Finish


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