Scouts help to clean up na­tives site

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ERIN TASKER

A road­side na­tive plant­ing project near Chert­sey has been given some much needed TLC by a team of green-thumbed Rakaia Scouts.

The Scouts re­cently set about un­cov­er­ing many hid­den gems within the area of na­tive shrubs and tus­socks, which was planted just north of the Chert­sey rail­way cross­ing on State High­way 1 around 10 years ago

Ash­bur­ton For­est and Bird’s Edith Smith said when Bill Hood lived at Chert­sey he took an in­ter­est in pro­tect­ing rem­nant na­tive veg­e­ta­tion along the road­side. When the New Zealand Trans­port Agency (NZTA), for­merly Tran­sit New Zealand, was pro­mot­ing road­side na­tive veg­e­ta­tion restora­tion coun­try-wide, a site at Chert­sey was se­lected for a plant­ing project.

Un­der the guid­ance of Can­ter­bury na­tive plant spe­cial­ist Colin Meurk of Land­care at Lin­coln a se­ries of plant­ing days were held. Man­age­ment of the site has since been han­dled by For­est and Bird and com­mu­nity work­ers.

Smith said weed pro­lif­er­a­tion was a se­ri­ous prob­lem, of­ten in­hibit­ing growth of the na­tives. So re­cently a team of Scouts from Rakaia pitched in to lend a hand. They flat­tened the tall pro­lific cocks­foot, ex­pos­ing the trees and shrubs and find­ing many which were thor­oughly hid­den.

Smith said the work en­abled a con­trac­tor to carry out a planned spray­ing pro­gramme with­out any na­tive plant ca­su­al­ties.

SUP­PLIED

Rakaia Scouts lend a hand.

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