Volunteers plant 600 native species beside Lake Hayes

Helping out at a Wakatipu Reforestation Trust community planting day by Lake Hayes on Saturday...
Helping out at a Wakatipu Reforestation Trust community planting day by Lake Hayes on Saturday are (from left) Leo Devlin (9), trust co-ordinator Nita Smith and Nathan Deasy (10). Photo: Guy WIlliams
A long-term project to restore a wetland beside Lake Hayes had a boost at the weekend as volunteers dug in 600 native plants.

In the first of four Wakatipu Reforestation Trust community planting days to be held this month, 25 volunteers spent three hours on Saturday working on a half-hectare area of public land at the lake’s southern end.

They planted the natives — including kahikitea, matai and totara trees — along a 200m-long strip between the walking track and State Highway 6.

Trust co-ordinator Nita Smith said its volunteers had planted more than 5000 natives at three sites around the lake in the past three years.

Earlier plantings on the wetland had taken to the site particularly well, because of its dampness and rich soil. Some trees were already more than three metres tall.

The plants had been propagated at the trust’s nursery in Jardine Park, Kelvin Heights.

Ms Smith said she was keen to see more volunteers come to this Saturday’s planting day at the Department of Conservation’s "Project Gold" site on the lake’s western shore.

The trust has planted more than 30,000 natives on public land in the Wakatipu basin in the past three years.

• Wakatipu Reforestation Trust community planting day, Lake Hayes western shore, Saturday, September  8, from 9am to noon. The site is a 5 to 10-minute walk along the lakeside trail from Rutherford Rd. Bring gloves and a shovel.

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