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West Coast wetlands and whitebait benefit from native tree planting

The Cobden Aromahana Sanctuary and Recreation Area (CASRA) on the West Coast of the South Island, was established in 2014 to support the restoration of inanga (whitebait) into the Cobden wetlands. Whitebait spawning has been encouraged along new channel edges with over 10,000 natives planted.


CASRA received 300 native trees to plant at the northern end of the Cobden Lagoon, as one of the winners of this year’s Matariki Trees That Count competition. The tree planting was spread over two planting days in November 2017, using volunteer muscle. The trees will grow to beautify and restore the adjacent walkway.


Since 2014, CASRA has won many local and national awards for supporting inanga to thrive in the wetland area. Woody weed, rat and stoat control programmes are in place. A further 2,800 native seedlings have been planted on a former dump site, and amenities such as public toilets have also been added this year.


Rob Harrison, CASRA Convenor, said “that while there were some trying soil and climatic conditions, mainly through lack of normal rainfall at planting, we're confident that the support provided by the Matariki Trees that Count award of 300 trees will provide a really tangible asset to the community in time."