Biodiversity gets funding

by Mike Isle

Ten biodiversity projects in the Selwyn Te Waihora zone have received a financial boost with the Selwyn Waihora Water Zone Committee allocating $63,000 of Immediate Steps funding.

Projects to which funding was allocated include restoration of hill country wetlands and enhancement of one of the main tributaries to Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.

The projects will each receive between $2,000 and $12,800 of funding, with landowners and project partners contributing a further 30–60 per cent, boosting overall value to an estimated $216,300. The five new and five existing projects are: Maffey’s Road stream restoration (third year of funding), Washpen Ford Restoration (third year), Windwistle bluffs (second year), Sanford mudfish habitat enhancement (second year), Waikirikiri springs protection (second year), Black Hills wetland restoration (first of two years’ funding), Washpen Road wetland enhancement, Harts Creek enhancement, Haldon Pastures Stream Enhancement, and Rockwood wetland protection (first of three years’ funding).

Zone committee co-chair Les Wanhalla said It was “inspiring” to hear Ben Richards from Rockwood in the high country talking at the July meeting about his ongoing commitment to biodiversity on his land, which has continued for generations.

“Having made biodiversity protection and enhancement top priority when we wrote our Zone Implementation Programme a number of years ago, we have now delivered 127 projects since 2011 via the Immediate Steps programme,” he said.

Selwyn Waihora Zone Delivery lead Johannes Welsch said the support of these projects was the outcome of “good relationships with landowners, supporting their native biodiversity enhancement efforts, protecting wetlands, and creating greater awareness of biodiversity in our community.”