The second group of international student volunteers has just left town but not before they stamped their mark on noxious weeds around the district.
The group of eight students and their team leader played a particularly significant part in the management of Tom's Track, which is covered in gorse, as well as other sites.
Trees For Travellers manager Kevin Cole, who co-ordinated the group's efforts on the popular walking track, said the site was a very challenging one to work on.
"The whole area is covered in gorse, which is the worst type of plant to deal with," he said.
"We have had to cut tracks among the gorse to make way for native planting, which will over time shade out the gorse and solve the problem without having to use chemicals."
This group has planted 150 native plants to help combat the gorse. They have added to the 200 already planted by their predecessors earlier in the year and the planting is starting to make a real difference.
The important thing for future groups to work on is keeping the tracks open for the next five years to encourage the new trees to grow.
Mr Cole said within 10 to 15 years the area should have begun to manage itself, with the natives taking the place of the unwanted gorse.
Eight different species of native plant have been introduced along the track, including kowhai and cabbage tree.
"The end game is to help the ecosystem and encourage birds and insects back to a place that has been devoid of trees.
"Because we are using no chemicals, we are just letting nature take care of itself."
Mr Cole said the project had been helped along by the generous support of the Encounter Foundation, which was established to support or initiate projects that enhance the natural environment.
"The thing that is so amazing about this group is what the Encounter Foundation has done. They provided us with 20 spades and 20 shears a year ago.
"They also fund the three days of the trip that they are with [Trees for Travellers].
"They came on board because they liked the feel of this particular project and their support has been amazing."
Mr Cole said the students had been incredibly hard working.
He puts this down to the fact that they are in New Zealand specifically for conservation reasons so are passionate about what they are helping to achieve.
The volunteers have also been working on the Takahanga bush above the Memorial Hall, as part of a restoration project between the Kaikoura District Council and the Runanga. A grant was received from Environment Canterbury (ECan) from its Environment Enhancement Fund.
The Environment Enhancement Fund is a contestable fund which provides grants of up to $20,000 to individuals and groups working to protect and enhance Canterbury's indigenous biodiversity.
The fund can also be applied to for recognition of past work.
The third group of volunteers is due to arrive in August.
- © Fairfax NZ News