Native seedlings planted on hill

More than 60 volunteers spent Tuesday on Tobins Face, behind Arrowtown, planting 520 native seedlings in a section cleared of wilding pines by the Arrowtown Choppers last year. Photo: Supplied
More than 60 volunteers spent Tuesday on Tobins Face, behind Arrowtown, planting 520 native seedlings in a section cleared of wilding pines by the Arrowtown Choppers last year. Photo: Supplied
More than 500 native seedlings have been planted on a section of a landmark Arrowtown hill.

The Arrowtown Choppers cleared a section of Tobins Face of invasive wilding pines last year and on Tuesday more than 60 volunteers returned to revegetate the area with native shrubs and trees.

Arrowtown Choppers spokesman Karl Walker said the replanting day was part of a wider revegetation trial to understand the most effective way to replace the pines with a mix of native and exotic plants.

''The long-term goal is not just the removal of wilding species, but the reintroduction of a mix of locally sourced native plants for biodiversity, and selected non-spreading exotic trees to enhance Arrowtown's brilliant autumn colours.''

Mr Walker said in spring the group would return to the area and plant at least 200 non-invasive deciduous exotics.

The choppers are a community-led organisation, part of the wider Arrowtown Wilding Group, and aim to rid the Arrowtown back country of wilding pines and stop their spread into the tussock-covered backcountry.

Over the past three years, the group had cleared more than 25ha of wilding pines.

Mr Walker that was starting to pay dividends.

''This is part of a wider strategy to repair Arrowtown's hill country and bring back the native birdsong that once dominated our little corner of the world.

''Trapping work being done by Predator Free Arrowtown is also having a massive impact - it's exciting to think where we'll be in five to 10 years' time.''

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