Projects aim to reinvigorate waterways and wildlife

Volunteers at two conservation projects in Brookby, South-East Auckland, have already planted hundreds of trees in a bid ...
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Volunteers at two conservation projects in Brookby, South-East Auckland, have already planted hundreds of trees in a bid to protect and reinvigorate local waterways and bird life.

If people have a sturdy pair of gumboots and an even slightly green thumb, two Papakura projects need their help.

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand is holding volunteer days this weekend at neighbouring sites in rural Brookby, South-East Auckland.

Spokeswoman Siobhan O'Grady says volunteers will be guided by a qualified team leader and supplied with tools, gloves and equipment. 

Environmentally-minded volunteers at the Brookby projects are advised to take sturdy boots for the planting and fencing ...
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Environmentally-minded volunteers at the Brookby projects are advised to take sturdy boots for the planting and fencing work along the waterways.

The days involve planting, working in the on-site nursery, fencing and removing invasive weeds.

One of the Fitzgerald Road sites is the Brookby Wildlife Habitat where an "exciting restoration project" is well under way on Auld Farm, with support of the Waterways Protection Fund.

The project aims to improve the water quality of the catchment and Papakura Stream, increase plant biodiversity and the endemic wildlife and aquatic life in and around the stream.

The riparian planting helps to prevent land loss from soil erosion and filters runoff from paddocks. This in turn stabilises hillsides, cleans the waterways and boosts biodiversity.

The fund has also helped neighbouring Brookby Equestrian Park purchase 4000 trees and pay for fencing to prevent stock getting near waterways. 

O'Grady says owners Bruce and Grace Nisbet are "strong believers in halting the environmental decline that has happened in this area over the past century".

"We've had over 200 volunteers contribute to these projects with school groups such as Mansell School and Brookby School, local community volunteers, international groups and teams from corporate groups such as Uber who planted 300 trees in September and Auckland University who came out and got 600 trees in the ground."

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"We would love to see you," O'Grady says.

* Brookby Equestrian Park's volunteer day is October 13, 9am to 4pm.

* Brookby Wildlife Habitat's planting days are October 14, 9am to 4pm, and October 18, 8am to 4pm.

The days coincide with Conversation Week, running until October 22.

All volunteers are welcome but they need to register in advance. Email info@cvnz.org.nz or free call 0800 56 76 86.

 - Stuff

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