Environmental Impact - Ours and Yours!

In 1999 in conjunction with QE11 Trust (this is a Government and privately funded Native Forest Protection Trust specialising in protecting areas of native bush on private land) and Hawkes Bay Regional Council we fenced and covenanted 50ha of native bush. This reserve can be viewed from the Farm Track.

Currently we are fencing a further 12ha which will also be covenanted with QE11 Trust. Hawkes Bay Regional Council have again contributed. This consists of mature trees, regenerating bush and an area of wetland. Fencing out stock will allow regeneration to occur. Goats particularly eat young seedlings.

We are in the early stages of a 100ha farm development on our steep back country. We have sprayed 100ha of returning scrub and then burnt and resown in improved pasture. Critical to the success of this is the application of fertiliser - this country has poor natural fertility thus its propensity to regenerate to bush.

We will resow further sections of this back country over the next 5 years.

This development requires consent from the Dept. of Conservation and the local District Council. We have mapped the development and committed to leave a further 60ha to regenerate to full native bush. We are very happy to leave these areas to regenerate as it provides a good balance and allows riparian protection of streams in steep gullies.

In conjunction with the bush reserves there has been an opossum control programme. Hawkes Bay Regional Council trapped and poisoned 1400 opossums on the farm and installed 100 bait stations for opossums and rats which we look after. Opossums and rats destroy native trees and eat birds eggs. Stoats, weasels, wild cats and magpies are also trapped. There has been a noticeable improvement in the bush and native bird life since this trapping began.

The 2ha gully below our house will be cleared out of wild fig, blackberry and creeper and a native planting programme is being undertaken in the winter of 2008. This is also in conjunction with the Hawkes Bay Regional Council. The first stage is the planting of 1000 Tree Lucerne.

Over the years we have planted the driveway and around the woolshed and our home with flowering Gums, Puriri, Pohutukawa and Banksias. Tuis and Bellbirds and native pigeons are continually there for the nectar and berries.

You will see as you walk around the farm, hundreds of Poplar and Willow plantings. Each year Hawkes Bay Regional Council sponsor the planting of 200 poles for erosion control. The sleeves on them are to prevent goats eating the bark.

'The Quarters - Project Crimson' Planting Project

We have a vision of planting Rata and Pohutukawa trees all the way up the Te Au Farm Coast Track. Pohutukawa and Rata are known as New Zealand's Christmas trees due to their large red blooms over the Christmas period. They are large coastal trees which have become threatened by opossums eating their foliage.

Project Crimson is a Trust funded by the Department of Conservation and Meridian Energy with the aim of restoring Pohutukawa and Rata trees to the New Zealand Coast. For more info see www.projectcrimson.org.nz

There is a 100 year Pohutukawa tree at our homestead and we planted 20 or so in our driveway in 1991. These are now large trees.

We think 4km of Rata and Pohutukawa up the coast track would look magnificent and we would like to invite you to participate in this venture. Project Crimson will provide the trees which are about 1m high. Your contribution is needed for protection of the trees. For $25 you can become an owner of individual trees. A stake with your name on it will be placed at the tree and you will be provided a name tag to take with you. As more guests participate the trees will stretch from The Quarters up the coast. This also allows you to offset your carbon emissions of travel with the planting of a tree.

Hopefully when you return one day you will see how the project and your tree has grown.

We have never been to such a beautiful and peaceful place.

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