Friday, 03 July 2020 11:50

Landowners to be contacted following aerial inspections

Written by  Staff Reporters
Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips. Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips.

Seven landowners will be contacted following Environment Southland’s first aerial compliance inspection this year.

Read: Environment Southland is demanding better winter grazing practices.

Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips says the landowners were identified as potentially having some minor issues which require a closer look.

“Overall, the first flight showed positive uptake of good management practices and we were encouraged by what we saw.

“These seven landowners are ones where we have identified something that might need improved, such as their buffer zones or back fencing.”

A joint approach by Environment Southland, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Federated Farmers, MfE and MPI, was developed last year to tackle winter grazing issues.

The collaboration followed a public campaign by Waikato environmentalist, Angus Robson, who drew widespread attention to poor winter grazing practices on Southland farms. 

Both Robson and Environment Southland say it appears farmers are making improvements.

“Winter grazing is recognised as a high risk activity with regard to water quality and a lot of effort has gone into providing the advice and information to help farmers understand what is expected of them.”

A large portion of Southland was covered by this initial flight, from Tussock Creek through to Garston and Mossburn and then some of the Western Southland area.

“We know the weather has been good so far this winter, but rain is inevitable. Farmers still need to be mindful of maintaining all good management practices, including managing critical source areas and buffers after heavy rain.”  

The landowners identified by the flights will be followed up by compliance and land sustainability staff.

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