Spy Valley Wines plants 700 native trees


Spy Valley Wines has taken a further step towards restoring significant native areas in Marlborough, which make up only 1 per cent of the Wairau Plain.
A team of nine staff members spent Friday morning planting 700 native plants at a natural spring-fed wetland on their Spring Creek vineyard, Area H171.
After the company purchased the Hillocks Rd vineyard in 2012, it made a commitment to continuing the restoration of the wetland in conjunction with the Marlborough District Council.
The council identifies significant natural areas on private land within Marlborough and helps the landowners to restore, manage and protect them through their Significant Natural Areas Project.
Spy Valley Wines marketing manager Nicola Clark said when the company took possession of the 3-hectare wetland it was overgrown with weeds. During the past few years a considerable amount of time had been spent clearing the area to make way for native flora and fauna, she said.
"It's been a long slow process, the previous owners started in 2005, and native trees grow so slow and the weeds grow so fast so it's mainly just managing the weeds so the native trees have a chance to grow."
The Hillocks Rd wetland was originally surveyed by the council in 2003, and was described as one of the best examples of spring-fed wetlands left in the lower Wairau Valley.
The Spy Valley team had purchased a range of native plants, including Sedge, Cabbage Trees, Kahikatea, Kanuka, Tree Daisy, Kohuhu, Ribbonwood, Totara, Karamu and Kowhai, which were planted over about six hours on Friday.
Project manager and viticulturist Adam McCone said the council was matching every dollar they spent on trees to aid with the project, up to $5000. They were not helping with labour costs.
Since 2012 they had been spent time at the wetland weekly, getting up to 20 hours' work done each week during the summer, managing weeds, removing dead trees and setting traps for stoats and ferrets.
Native animals were beginning to re-inhabit the area, including Tui, Pukeko, eels and fresh-water crayfish, McCone said.
Following the tree planting, Spy Valley Wines would continue to manage weeds, and hoped to create a walkway within the wetland to make it more accessible for people.

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