Fonterra Sustainable Dairy Advisor, Libby Sutherland, who helped out with the planting, says it was a great opportunity to help our farmers and give back to the community.
“Having healthy waterways is in the interests of all of New Zealand and planting our river banks helps farmers protect and improve the quality of the waterways on their farms.
“These plants basically act as big filters helping slow down any surface water running off the land. They filter out the nutrients and sediment that can get into waterways, and provide shade that reduces the growth of weeds and creates a healthy environment for water life.
“In my role as a Sustainable Dairy Advisor, I work with our Fonterra farmers to develop tailored Farm Environment Plans and waterway planting is a common feature. Sometimes like today we even help them out with the actual planting!” says Libby.
Planting riparian strips can remove at least 60 per cent of nitrogen and 65 per cent of phosphorus from runoff and groundwater.
Richard says with the tracks, bridges, fencing, and now the last of the planting going in, the area is nearing completion.
“We’re seeing seedlings arrive which means it’s starting to be self-sustaining. That’s incredibly pleasing because it means we can start to step back. It’s starting to fulfil our wildest dreams.”