Weeds war gets boost

Last updated 12:00 24/05/2014

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A push to control invasive weeds in the Abel Tasman has been given a $200,000 boost.

The New Zealand Lottery Grants Board has granted the money as part of a $300,000 two-year programme to be managed by the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust.

The programme is based on a weed management plan commissioned by Project Janszoon in 2012. The privately funded Project Janszoon and the Department of Conservation are involved in a 30-year partnership to restore the ecology of Abel Tasman National Park.

Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust chairman Kim McGlashen says the weed management plan identifies 113 different weed species in the project area, many of which present serious ecological threats.

Controlling the weeds needs to happen so the ecological recovery of the area can continue.

"By removing the weeds the native flora will have the opportunity to flourish again, ultimately providing food for native birds and insects."

The key targets for control range from climbing vines, such as old man's beard and banana passionfruit, that are establishing from outside the park, to others such as Grevillea, periwinkle and ivy, that have spread along the Abel Tasman coastline.

The Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust has contracted R&D Environmental to manage the programme.

Private land adjoining the park, such as baches at Awaroa and Torrent Bay, are not included in the exercise. The areas targeted will be high-priority areas of the park and Canaan Downs scenic reserve.

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- The Nelson Mail

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