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New native forest network attracts bush birds back to the city

In a Christchurch City Council (CCC) reserve in Belfast, beside the Kaputahi Stream (a tributary of the Styx River on the northern outskirts of Christchurch city), 2,000 native trees were planted in October 2017. 

The trees were donated by Trees that Count, as part of an initiative with Z service stations nationwide. For a 24 hour period in July 2017, Z contributed 6 cents from every litre of fuel sold, to Trees That Count. This Christchurch site was selected based on its urgent need for native plantings and the CCC’s proven commitment to plant and maintain the site. Another 5,000 native trees will be planted there in 2018.

Planting was undertaken by 30 CCC staff and Opus International Consultants volunteers (who have helped plant out the area over the last 5-6 years).

The Belfast reserve area will eventually form a forest patch more than 3ha in size. It’s small as far as forests go, but in time it will become part of a much wider native forest network across the Styx River catchment and the wider Christchurch City region.

Unbelievably, there is now more native forest in this one part of Christchurch (more than 53ha) than there was in the whole city area when Europeans settled in the mid 1800’s (52ha). This growing native forest will attract bush birds back to the city, which have become locally extinct over the last 150 years.

Dr Antony Shadbolt, Christchurch City Council Landscape Architect/Ecologist commented “these native trees will assimilate more carbon than pinus radiata will...they’re going to be here for over a thousand years. So that’s 32 generations of people that will be able to experience these trees.”

“It’s something that people across the community can see as necessary and what we try to do is use innovation and enthusiasm and passion to make a real difference to climate change.” said Joris de Bres, Trees That Count Ambassador.

More information about the project can be found here.


About the author

Trees That Count aims to create a national movement to plant millions of native trees to mitigate climate change. We're managed by the Project Crimson Trust in partnership with the Tindall Foundation.

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