Planting bee pulls plenty of punters

Sofia Wilson, 8, gets stuck into planting at the Half Mile Reserve, in Alexandra, yesterday.

Sofia, along with her mum, Kati, and dad, Mike, was part of a group of about 100 people who turned out to help at a public planting bee.

It was the first stage of replanting on the site, which was the source of passionate debate last year when the Central Otago District Council removed the pines on the reserve in line with its wilding pine policy.

Clyde-based Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust has a five-year memorandum of understanding with the council to plant out the reserve.

Project co-ordinator Rachael Baxter said the turnout yesterday was fantastic. The holes had been pre-dug and a Fulton Hogan water cart was on hand to fill buckets.

The last 3000 of 5000 hard tussock went in the ground during the afternoon. The others were planted by council staff and elected members on Arbor Day last week and trust members while they were digging the holes.

Once the council had carried out rabbit control on the site they would move on to planting trees and shrubs, Mrs Baxter said.