Te Ara Kakariki chair Craig Pauling presents Nicki Shackleton with a plaque to display at her greendot near Lincoln

Greendots growing in Selwyn

by Kent Caddick

Volunteers and landowners along with the Te Ara Kakariki Greenway Canterbury Trust have been busy planting out around Selwyn.

The Te Ara Kakariki Greenway Canterbury Trust is an incorporated charitable trust with the mission to undertake environmental restoration projects in Selwyn. The latest undertaking saw more than 3,000 eco-sourced seedlings planted, to help to enlarge three existing greendots and begin a new one.

Greendots are areas planted in native plants which work as stepping stones for native birds and fauna to travel over the land. Te Ara Kakariki coordinator, Letitia Lum, said the morning sunshine and mild weather was appreciated by volunteers who worked at Nicki Shackleton’s Lincoln property.

“Her greendot journey began last year with a group from Te Ara Kakariki planting 500 seedlings. She has continued planting during the year, and during this planting, over 1,100 more were planted at her site.

“Nicki has named her greendot ‘Roosteration Forest’ and has encouraged planters to come back and see the results of their hard work.

“Once her greendot is established she looks forward to visitors being able to walk through the forest and enjoy the peace and bird life.” Volunteers also descended on Grant and Stephanie Sisson’s hillside property in Early Valley Road near Tai Tapu.

Trees on their property were burned in the 2017 Port Hills fires, and they are working to replace them with natives and hope to encourage Kereru and Bellbirds back to the area.

Rebecca Gardner of Oceanbridge Shipping was one of the volunteers.

Te Ara Kakariki chair Craig Pauling presents Nicki Shackleton with a
plaque to display at her greendot near Lincoln

“We came out here to do a team bonding day — but also to give back to the community, and we had a great day. Getting out in the fresh air and contributing not only to society but also the environment and everyone’s future.”

Finishing up in Springston for the day, volunteers planted another 480 plants at Brian Patchett’s organic greendot.

“Instead of spraying in preparation for planting Brian had ploughed up the soil with a rotary hoe,” Ms Lum said.

“Brian’s greendot is two years old, and this year he is doing a bit of experimentation with his new seedlings.

“Brian is trialling a small batch of cardboard plant guards as an alternative to the plastic ones he has used in the past.  He also had a few volunteers add mycorrhizal fungi to some specially marked plants; this should help them to absorb nutrients and result in increased growth.”

The next Te Ara Kakariki Greenway Canterbury Trust planting day is this Saturday on planting sites around Hororata.

Buses will pick up volunteers and for more information on how to get involved go to kakariki.org.nz as registration is essential.