Environment Waikato chairman Peter Buckley is encouraging farmers to apply to the council’s Clean Streams fund after experiencing real success with the scheme on his own farm.
Cr Buckley applied to the fund several years ago, before he joined the council, to fence and plant two streams running through his Island Block property near Te Kauwhata. He has since noticed a range of benefits, including:
Now he is urging other farmers to make the most of the fund, after a recent survey showed it was generally not top of mind for the region’s farmers, and many weren’t aware of the level of funding it provided.
“I’d like to personally encourage farmers to apply, because there are so many benefits and it’s a significant chunk of the cost you don’t have to pay back,” he said.
“We can fund up to 35 per cent of the cost of fencing and planting natural waterways on your property.”
From an environmental point of view, fencing and planting streams also reduces erosion and creates “buffer zones” between land and water, reducing the flow of faecal matter, phosphorus and sediment into the waterway.
“I would recommend this to anybody,” Cr Buckley said.
“The process was very easy and from personal experience, you don’t need to worry about the amount of land you’re taking out by fencing off your streams, because my production stayed where it was.
“Having shade for the animals also helps keep the animals more contented and I think that’s really important because contented cows produce more milk.”
For more information about the Clean Streams fund and how to apply, please call Environment Waikato on 0800 800 401 and ask for your local land management officer.
What other farmers around the region have said about the Clean Streams fund: