4 September 2014
The QEII National Trust has received $ 119,000 from the first round of the Government’s Community Conservation Partnership Fund, to tackle weeds and restore wetlands in 5 covenant projects around the country.
Waikato’s tradescantia problem is being tackled in one project. In an innovative biological control project, funding will be used to buy and release tradescantia beetles into 6 covenants. The beetles will feed on and eventually decimate the rampant, destructive Tradescantia fluminensis weed, which is threatening the ecologically significant covenants.
The project is being run in collaboration with the Waikato Regional Council which aims to extend the range of the tradescantia-destroying beetles over time.
National Trust representative Robbie Bennett says the landowners involved have already committed their own funds and many volunteer hours to the protection and enhancement of their covenants.
“It is exciting and encouraging to get support for them to tackle this persistent weed.
“Here’s to our tradescantia beetles munching their way into biocontrol history in New Zealand,” he says.
Other covenant projects funded will tackle pampas eradication at Cape Turnagain, woody weed control at Waikerikeri, sycamore control at Geraldine and wetland and peat bog restoration on 8 covenants in Southland.
National Trust funding co-ordinator Genevieve Bannister says the projects are an opportunity to build upon the hard work and investment already made by covenantors to enhance their covenant blocks.
The Community Conservation Partnerships Fund - Pūtea Tautiaki Hapori (CCPF) provides funding to community-led conservation groups for natural heritage and recreation projects in New Zealand.
The fund, which is administered by the Department of Conservation, was announced in March 2014. It has approximately $26 million dollars to distribute to community groups for priority conservation work over four years. In the first year $8.5 million is being allocated across more than 100 community organisations.
The National Trust works in partnership with landowners to help them protect special natural and cultural heritage sites on their land forever with covenants. More than 175,000 ha is protected by National Trust covenantors across New Zealand, an area equivalent in size to Rakiura/Stewart Island.
Media liaison: Anne McLean, QEII National Trust, 04 4741689.
QEII National Trust funding co-ordinator: Genevieve Bannister, 04 474 1688