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Milestone for farm-forestry trail

Last updated 05:00 23/07/2013
Ryan Brebner-Fox and Cimino Cole
FIRST STEPS: Ryan Brebner-Fox, 6, left, with Mahurangi Action spokesman Cimino Cole at the Sandspit Rd entrance to the Mahurangi farm-forestry trail.

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Walkers take note.

Imagine the pleasure of walking though bush and fields from Matakana to Warkworth.

Mahurangi Action has placed signs and opened the first section of the Mahurangi farm-forestry trail.

Spokesman Cimino Cole says supporters hope the walkway will one day be extended to connect Warkworth and the Mahurangi Peninsula with Matakana.

Right now, the trail is rough in places, formed over private farmland and follows Duck Creek along Sandspit Rd to Hamilton Rd.

Starting beside the Parsley Pot cafe, the section of young bush is the first scientifically designed comparison of open-ground (forestry-style) and container-raised indigenous trees and plants.

It was planted in 2008 and will be of great interest to others looking to plant beside a waterway, Mr Cole says.

He says the plants raised in open-ground beds have performed better than container-raised plants and are significantly cheaper, less than a fifth of the cost of pot or planter-bag plants.

He says the planting project is aimed at slashing the cost of establishing indigenous species and reducing sediment entering waterways and has the support of the NZ Farm Forestry Association and Tane's Tree Trust.

The Rodney Local Board granted the project $8280 for signs, marker posts and small waterway crossings.

Visit mahurangi.org.nz/Open-Ground/Demonstration-Trail.php for more information.

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- Rodney Times

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