Festival to fund trees

The organisers of a North Otago music festival say they hope proceeds from the event will help fill the bellies of Oamaru families struggling to put food on the table.

The Rattling Rocks festival will take place at the Duntroon Domain on March 15 and co-organiser Sophia Leon de la Barra said the event would help raise money for fruit, nut and native trees to be planted around Oamaru.

''The idea is to plant fruit, nut and native trees in public spaces such as park perimeters, the verge between footpath and street, and other spaces where there are existing tree plantings and room for more.

''By planting fruit and nut trees in public spaces, people will be able to gather seasonal fruits and nuts on their journeys home from school and work.

''More than 50% of Oamaru residents earn less than $20,000 per year [2013 Census], so many working families do not have the financial resources to provide fresh fruit and nuts for their families.

''Only about 25% of New Zealand's original native forests still stand today. By planting fruit, nut and native trees we can help feed our community for generations to come and re-establish native trees in our community.''

Ms Leon de la Barra said there had already been ''a great response'' from musicians all over Otago, with Oamaru bands as well as acts from Waitati and Dunedin lined up to perform.

A further online fundraising drive for the project would also be launched at the festival so people ''from far and wide'' could help support the initiative, she said.

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