Thu, Mar 28, 2024 5:35 PM

Sponsored: Creating thriving and sustainable environments


Tessa Jaine

Terry Stewart spends much of his time protecting land from the spread of invasive weeds and contributing to the development of ecological areas important to the well-being of the Top of the South.

His business ‘Native Restorations’ is all about biosecurity weed control. “Right throughout the Marlborough and Tasman regions there are plants thriving that are threatening native species. We work for the likes of KiwiRail, the Department of Conservation, Iwi, forestry companies, vineyards and farmers. It is so important to get those species out of the ecosystem before they get completely out of control and do widespread damage,” Terry says.

The most common culprits are nassella tussock, chilean needle grass, reed sweet grass, banana passionfruit, old man’s beard, hawthorn, willows, wilding pines, blackberry and whichever other species are preventing the native fauna from flourishing. “Our focus is very much on protecting native ecosystems,” says Terry.

“By getting rid of the invasive species, natural plants and wildlife can regenerate. Sometimes it is even necessary for us to fence off areas in order to assure greater success.”

One of the projects the company is involved in is the restoration of the Hinepango Wetland Restoration Project in the Rarangi area. “This area is of a very high conservation value, and it is a privilege to assist alongside all the others who have been putting so much effort into this important project,” he says.

“Each ecosystem is unique and its important to have a clear plan in place from the start which takes into account the plant species that need removing, along with replanting and ongoing maintenance and stewardship. The success of this kind of restoration work depends on a long-term plan which is compatible with the climate of the area and the fauna living there,” explains Terry.

“We are keen to educate and encourage those who wish to improve their land for generations to come and work collaboratively with conservation organisations, community groups and government agencies to help create the maximum impact in restoring and preserving natural habitats.”

The Native Restorations team is also involved in riparian planting which is planting along the edges of rivers and streams to stabilise banks. “They also act as a filter for nutrients and sediment before they can enter waterways,” he says. They recently planted 22,000 native plants and trees around the new dam in the Tasman region.

“There is so much still to do in the area of conservation in Marlborough and it is exciting to be part of it,” says Terry.

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