2023 Catchment Group: South Kaipara Landcare
Empowering locals and fostering a community spirit are two of this catchment group’s overarching goals as they care for South Head peninsula’s unique ecosystem.
South Kaipara Landcare is striving to protect the peninsula’s natural biodiversity, ultimately encouraging the return of endangered and lost bird life and plant species.
They estimate that the peninsula is home to about 700 households, with 120 of those active members of South Kaipara Landcare.
They have established a native plant nursery that produces about 20,000 plants annually. It is open to local residents who can buy locally sourced and grown native plants, with all income generated going towards the catchment group’s projects.
Up to 80 volunteers turn up for each of the regular planting and weeding days organised by the group – a commitment that has transformed areas of the peninsula.
Every spring, South Kaipara Landcare pulls together more than 100 locals to collect rubbish from alongside about 50km of road across the peninsula. These roadside rubbish clean-ups remove about nine cubic metres of waste each year.
Predator control includes the establishment of a trapping support group that provides traps and education to locals, plus has installed a number of trap lines.
Other projects include constructing a layby, fencing wetlands and native reserves, and cutting down wilding pines.
The catchment group has a long history of connecting with the local council and the Department of Conservation to advocate for the environment. This has included studies on pest weeds and a project that aims to remove pest fish from Lake Rototoa.
As well as its own projects, South Kaipara Landcare supports other groups and their initiatives which include bird counts and beach clean-ups. They’re currently working with Auckland Council to publish a flora and fauna guide for South Head residents – highlighting the many things that are special to the peninsula.
Enter the Ballance Farm Environment Awards