For­est restora­tion fund­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - STAFF REPORTER

Na­tive plants will start re­plac­ing wilding forests in Wakatipu, with the help of $145,000 from the Govern­ment.

A fund for na­tive beech for­est restora­tion was an­nounced by as­so­ci­ate en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Scott Simp­son.

Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Con­trol Group and Wakatipu Re­for­esta­tion Trust will use the money to­wards their three-year project.

The Beech Seed­ing project was cre­ated to help trans­form wilding in­fest into indige­nous for­est and es­tab­lish­ing a food source for na­tive birds. Simp­son said large scale re-foresta­tion would be am­bi­tious and chal­leng­ing.

‘‘So it’s great to see these lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties com­ing to­gether to pro­tect New Zealand’s unique nat­u­ral her­itage.’’

The project would train com­mu­nity-based vol­un­teers in seed col­lec­tion and share its learn­ings with com­mu­nity groups.

‘‘Com­mu­nity mem­bers will be able to record and dis­sem­i­nate data to re­port on the de­vel­op­ment of the restora­tion project by us­ing a cit­i­zen science based mon­i­tor­ing frame­work,’’ Simp­son said.

DASHA KU­PRIENKO

Nikki Cameron took dogs ex­plor­ing Tucker Beach by the Sho­tover River.

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