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Out with the old, in with the new—native trees!

Viki Moore and her family spotted an opportunity to replace pond-side willows with native trees on their property near Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury, regenerating a wetland for both feathered and human inhabitants to enjoy.

“The ponds on our property are a special area for our family,” says Viki. “We enjoy trapping, duck shooting, working to improve the area—and of course planting.”

The Moores began the restoration work on the property in 2012, beginning to clear the mature willow which had taken over the space. 

Some of the willow needed spraying, while mother nature assisted with others when a large patch of the trees blew over in a storm. 

“We were helped along the way by a Trees That Count advisor and also a Te Ara Kakariki rep, who helped us select which species would be suitable for a Canterbury native wetland,” explains Viki.

“We are slowly trying to replace the willow trees with natives, keeping on top of the weeds, and nurturing the plants that we have put in. It is a big job, but I am so pleased with the results we have had,” says Viki.

Viki giving a growing mānuka some encouragement. 

The family has planted more than 1,000 native trees together so far, with more in the works for this season. 650 of these native trees have been funded via the Trees That Count marketplace, with funders such as Fonterra alongside local businesses Adgraphix and Many Caps Consulting adding to the tally.

“The trees from Trees That Count are much appreciated and I am excited by how fast they are growing!” 

“We have also been doing lots of trapping,” says Viki. “We have caught over 100 possums in our first year and three large ferrets: and we’ve noticed the birdlife has improved a huge amount since our trapping efforts started.”

The Moores are committed to adding to the beautiful native regeneration year on year. 

“Eventually we hope to eradicate all the willow trees and have a beautiful native wetland, free from pests,” says Viki.

“Seeing the trees thriving is very motivating, the bare bank that we cleared is now flourishing with new life. There are lots more native birds around as well. 

It is nice just being out in nature and creating something that will hopefully last for generations.”