Waikato Regional Council is praising a group of Coromandel residents who are working to restore 65 hectares of fire-ravaged hillsides beside Whitianga Harbour.
The Comers Road Fire Restoration Project’s planting work got underway last week. It is being assisted by the council through $10,000 worth of plants, bamboo stakes and three bags of plant fertiliser.
“The group is to be commended for taking on the daunting task of re-planting,” said the council’s Whitianga-based senior catchment management officer Elaine Iddon.
“We’ll work with them as the project progresses.”
The area was damaged by a large bush fire this summer. The project group is mainly made up of local landowners who were on hand last week to help unload the first of two deliveries of plants, stakes and fertiliser from the council.
The affected land has steep hillsides meaning a high risk of soil erosion and more loss of vegetation cover.
Besides addressing those risks, planting will aim to support biodiversity by providing more canopy species such as totara, as well as the quick growing “pioneer” species that will provide fruit for bids (who help in seed dispersal) in a few years’ time.
On top of the donations from the council, Waihi Nursery has also donated plants.
The project group says it will be seeking volunteers for ongoing planting over the next few months. The first volunteer planting day is Saturday 8 July (between 10am and 2pm). Contact Helen Lee for details on 021 173 6490.