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This growth is the result of an experiment which has been conducted by the Agricultural Department. The intention was to ascertain whether, if the rabbits were kept off the land, it would ``come back'' to its condition before the advent of the rabbit. Twenty-five acres of bare, rocky hillside were therefore closely fenced with rabbit-proof netting. Some ``plots'' - if such a term could be applied to bare, hilly country - were artificially planted, while others were left to Nature.
There was no irrigation, but it should be mentioned that Nature has been kind to the goldfields district this season in the matter of rainfall. This advantage given in, the results of the experiment are astonishing. Native blue mountain grass has sprung up; silver tussock is growing in fine style; cocksfoot - the seed of which has blown in - is three or four feet high; lucerne shows a good growth. The experiment has proved a convincing success, and an education to the farmers in the Central district of what can be done through rabbit fencing.
The new bridge to span the Shotover River near Arthur's Point will be of the parabola, or more or less arch, shape. It will be of reinforced concrete, and the highest point of the parabola will be 48ft above a straight line drawn from point to point of the arch. The superstructure will be on pillars from the arch, mounted on top of it. Provision will be made to allow of the expansion of the concrete through changes of temperature.
The old wooden bridge over the Shotover is just about done, and the commencement of work on the new structure, which will be practically the first of its kind to be built in the dominion, is eagerly awaited. The stone abutments at each end of the old bridge are to be utilised for the new crossway, which will be about the same level as the old structure.
Some time ago the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society applied to the Minister of Internal Affairs for permission to collect swans' eggs round about Lake Ellesmere and to sell them for certain named objects. Mr Russell gave the permission, and during the season a rich harvest has been gathered.
The net profit on the collection and sale of the eggs was about 130. Of this sum the society retains half and the other half, which was handed to the Minister, has been appropriated to assist the sick and wounded soldiers in the Queen Mary Hospital at Hanmer Springs. - ODT 18.4.1917