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Making History At Nowell's Lake

Making History At Nowell's Lake

18 April 2011

Hawera's Nowell's Lake will be the scene of a special tree planting next Wednesday, 20th April, to mark the 40th anniversary of a great turning point in creating wetlands around the world.

Volunteers from Catchment Care, a partnership between Conservation Volunteers New Zealand and Fonterra, will plant 40 kowhai trees at the lake to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, to prevent their loss. Ramsar, named after a town in Iran, recognises the important ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, and recreational value.

Fonterra Whareroa staff, nine local schools, eight community groups and the local Rotary Club have already planted 18,000 native plants at Nowell's Lakes. This week's planting will continue the restoration of two beautiful freshwater lakes and wetlands, so that water quality is improved and wetland habitats are provided for native birds and fish.
Catchment Care volunteers will do two days work at the lakes - weeding around native trees that were previously planted and tending the special endangered species garden. This garden contains plants such as Pimelea, Pikao sedges and eighteen species of flax all which are rare in the Taranaki.

The two lakes and wetland cover seven hectares were formed by ground-fed fresh water which has become trapped behind a coastal sand dune belt. In 2006 a walkway was built around the lakes so that schools and local communities could enjoy the area and learn and appreciate wetland environments.

Leana Hunt, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Fonterra, says Nowell's Lake is just one of the Catchment Care projects Conservation Volunteers will be involved in Taranaki. Communities already involved with Catchment Care have started to see the benefits.

"We're working with school and conservation groups, farmers and local councils, to look after our important wetlands. These are local people, getting involved in local projects to enhance and protect the catchment areas which make each area unique," she says.

- ENDS -

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