A Waikato dairy farm which began its first riparian planting project 20 years ago now stands as an exemplar for rural land users, backed by science and clever long-term planning.
People in the Waipā River catchment are being encouraged attend the Kaniwhaniwha Stream field day, which will offer information on funding sources for environmental initiatives along with other resources.
The event is being organised by the Waikato Regional Council and DairyNZ.
Hosts Denis and Felicity Ahlers have worked with industry body DairyNZ to develop an environment-focused sustainable milk plan. They have also identified work that can qualify for council and Waikato River Authority funding.
The field day will cover topics such as farm planning, planting beside waterways, aquatic life, council river management, and land stabilisation.
“Reducing soil loss is particularly important in the Waipā catchment as this contributes to a high sediment load in streams and the Waipā River itself,” says council sustainable agriculture advisor John Vosper.
“This sediment reduces water clarity and can harm aquatic life. The Waipā River’s major issue is poor clarity caused by sediment and it is the biggest contributor of sediment to the lower Waikato River.”
The field day follows an announcement late last year that the Waikato River Authority is planning to provide the council with up to $1.5 million over three years for implementation of projects identified in the recently released Waipā Catchment Plan. The plan aims to contribute to the restoration and protection of the Waipā River.
The catchment plan promotes sustainable land uses and management practices, as well as providing targeted funding and assisting landowners to develop property or farm plans.
Overall, the plan sets 20-year goals for the catchment, including reducing erosion and sedimentation of the river, having productive soils, swimmable water quality throughout the catchment, and providing flood protection and enhanced ecological health.
For more information on the catchment plan, visit www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/waipaplan.
The field day at the Ahlers’ farm will be held from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday 21 April at 1120 Limeworks Loop Rd, Te Pahu, near Hamilton.