Awards for greenest firms
Camp concept cleans up
Mistletoe Bay Trust was named Supreme Award winner at this year's Marlborough Environment Awards on Friday night.
The trust is the driving force behind the Mistletoe Bay Eco Village and Campground in the Marlborough Sounds.
The volunteer organisation makes the most of its native bush setting to give visitors, particularly children, a hands-on experience of living sustainably, with energy-efficient cabins, recycling, water collection and on-site sewage treatment. "The trust has turned a good idea into reality thanks to hard work, strong leadership, broad-based funding and outstanding community buy-in," the judges said.
The trust also won the Community Innovation and Sustainable Living Award, sponsored by Solar Electric Technology, at the Marlborough at the Convention Centre on Friday.
Accepting the awards, trust chairman Simon Heath said their vision was to give every schoolchild in Marlborough the Mistletoe Bay experience.
Support had been phenomenal and Mr Heath thanked the people of Marlborough for all their work, donations and fundraising.
The awards are supported by the Marlborough District Council and sponsors to celebrate and showcase businesses or community projects that are good for the environment.
Awards field days will be held in April and May to give the public a chance to visit the winning entries.
Mistletoe Bay Trust was named Supreme Award winner.
The category winners are:
Landscape and Habitat Enhancement Award, sponsored by Morgans Road Nursery.
Te Hoiere Bat Recovery Project: This project at Pelorus Bridge is focused on pest control to save the habitat for the critically endangered long-tailed bat. It is a task easier said than done.
Volunteers clock up 80 hours a month checking 500 traps over a 150-hectare area in search of rats, stoats, possums and feral cats.
Bat habitat has been decimated by lowland native logging, and the scenic reserve at Pelorus is home to one of the few remaining populations of this critically endangered animal in the top of the south. Te Hoi-ere volunteers are saving both the long-tailed bat and the native forest.
The project was initiated by Forest & Bird and has developed strong relationships with DOC, Ngati Kuia and the Marlborough District Council as well as community volunteers.
Forestry Award, sponsored by Marlborough Forest Industry Association.
Marlborough Harvesting Ltd: The company completed a challenging logging operation on a difficult site around the Greenslaw Stream Significant Natural Area in the Onamalutu Valley. Good planning with Nelson Forests, which owns the 40ha block, resulted in a safe operation on steep slopes with minimal damage to the areas of natives; minimal soil disturbance and a better return on investment for the forest owner. Marlborough Harvesting used an Acme motorised carriage that lifted the logs to reduce soil disturbance and avoid trees entering the stream. Judges said the planning, strong leadership and communication within the crew provided a good role model to the industry of how harvesting can be done.
Community Innovation and Sustainable Living Award, sponsored by Solar Electric Technology.
Mistletoe Bay Trust: The trust's Eco-Village and school camp experience in the Marlborough Sounds is focused on children with the aim that everyone who stays at Mistletoe Bay will take the sustainability message back home.
Farming Award, sponsored by Marlborough Federated Farmers.
Zillwood dairy farm: Mark and Simone Zillwood's property in Canvastown is a 68ha dairy unit milking 150 cows.
The new covered feedpad is a major asset that allows them to take the cows off the paddock when wet, eliminating pugging and reducing effluent runoff.
Effluent from both the cowshed and feedpad passes through a weeping wall and is stored in a large lined pond to be applied only when the soil conditions are suitable. Liquid effluent is sprayed through the irrigation system at low levels to prevent nitrogen runoff.
The streams are being fenced off and planted which will improve water quality and add to the aesthetics of the property.
Winegrowing and Horticulture Award, sponsored by Treasury Wine Estates (Matua).
Fromm Winery: The first vines at Fromm were planted in 1992 in the European tradition - close together and with frugal irrigation to encourage intense flavours.
That frugality with water has increased over time with vines weaned off water completely, saving 9.5 million litres of water per year and the power needed to pump it. Fromm's 5.6ha vineyard is certified organic and follows biodynamic principles, and their expertise is clear from the high standard of compost making, use of cover crops and understanding of soil structure. The judges were impressed by the good, simple ideas and integrated approach of the Fromm vineyard which felt like a healthy farm working with the environment to grow quality grapes.
Business Innovation Award, sponsored by Cuddon Engineering.
Yealands Estate Wine: Big ideas and bold initiatives are saving energy throughout the operation. This is the second time Yealands has entered the awards and they are continuing to innovate to improve their sustainability.
Tractors run on biofuel, vineyard prunings are baled and burnt to heat water for the winery and they are experimenting with biochar from grape marc to add to compost. The winery boasts extensive insulation and they use rail transport rather than trucks.
- The Marlborough Express