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Family creating a lush biodiverse wetland

The Wakeman Family currently have two restoration projects on the go, The Waka Wetland and Brookby Wildlife Habitat Project. This only begins to show the family’s commitment and love for conservation.

Focusing on the Waka Project, the family have converted a large paddock into a wetlands. Ground displacement caused by earthquakes has formed freshwater springs. After some maintenance and support from a Fish and Game Grant, the Wakeman’s used this geographical change to create wetland ponds. Their aim was to encourage duck breeding and it has also drawn special visitors, Shags, Spoonbills, White Heron and Bittern to the area.

Natives are being planted on the higher areas near the sand hills. Last year the Wakeman’s extended family’s involvement and a council grant, led to 1700 trees going into the ground. A wetland biodiversity expert Jason Butt recommended the use of tree guards, to act as a barrier against the conditions of extreme frost, drought, exposed coastal winds, hares, rabbits and pukuko’s. Nicky commented that this has facilitated the growth of our beloved Kowhai and Ribbonwood trees, as hares can now only nibble at the top of plants, allowing the natives to recover!

This years plans for Project Waka include continuing to plant in the same highland area. With the support from Trees That Count’s marketplace, the family have been donated 1000 trees. Sourced from the large local nursery, Riverside Horticulture, the Wakeman’s are planning to predominantly plant Cabbage Trees.