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Kate Valley Biodiversity Project

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When Kate Valley Landfill was set up, Transwaste Canterbury Limited put aside an area of land called Tiromoana Bush for ecological restoration

About Tiromoana Bush

Tiromoana Bush is a 410-hectare area of land in the middle and lower Kate Valley. It has been farmed with sheep and beef cattle as part of the Tiromoana Station for over a century. The area has some regenerating native forest and wetlands. These ecosystems are the core of the restoration project.

Transwaste Canterbury Limited decided to restore Tiromoana Bush so that one day it will be as it was before people came to New Zealand. Coastal and lowland forests like Tiromoana Bush are now rare, so this restoration project is very important for biodiversity conservation.

Vision and goals

The restoration plan has a 300-year vision! But it also has five year and 35-year goals. So far, the following work has been done:

  • The bush area has permanent protection under the QEII National Trust open space covenant.
  • Sheep and cattle have been excluded.
  • A deer fence has been put up and deer and pigs have been eradicated.
  • Native forest and wetland plants have been planted.
  • A new wetland has been created.
  • Public walking tracks have been put in place so people can enjoy the area.

A pine forest plantation has been planted to help fund restoration after the landfill has closed. Revenue from the forestry will provide sustainable funding for ongoing conservation management of Tiromoana Bush.

Tiromoana Bush will eventually:

  • be restored to a mostly forest ecosystem
  • include coastal broadleaved, mixed podocarp-broadleaved and black beech forests
  • be a place where the plants and animals typical of the Motunau District survive without threat of extinction
  • be a place where people visit for recreation and to appreciate the restored natural environment.

Ecological management

Many people are helping to restore Tiromoana Bush so it will be a treasured conservation area for future generations. This includes landfill staff, scientists, contractors and university and school students.

A key approach to the restoration of Tiromoana Bush is to balance this active restoration with natural succession. This is a process where the structure of an ecosystem evolves over time. Strategically located plantings are used to help speed up these natural processes. Plant and animal pest control is also giving these natural processes a helping hand. But the idea is to give nature time to sort out its own ecosystem.

Tiromoana Bush was opened to the public for the first time in 2006. The walkway was upgraded in 2017. Anyone can now walk through the bush along a four kilometre track down to the coast and back.

 

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Challenge: Find out what a QEII National Trust open space covenant is. Where is the nearest QEII National Trust open space covenant to your place?

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Tiromoana Bush is a 410-hectare area of land in the middle and lower Kate Valley. It has been farmed as part of the Tiromoana Station for over a century. Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.

The area still has regenerating native forest and wetlands. These ecosystems are an important part of the restoration project. Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.

What animals would this fence around Tiromoana Bush keep out? Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.

Trapping has been used for pest control at Tiromoana Bush. Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.

Native forest plants have been planted and a new wetland has been created. Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.

Restoration of Tiromoana Bush will balance active planting with natural succession. Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.

Tiromoana Bush is open to the public. Anyone can walk the track to the coast for some great views from the viewing platform. Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.