FIELD DAY - WAIMATUKU CATCHMENT GROUP
Waimatuku Catchment would like to welcome you all to a field day.
NEXT TUESDAY 24TH APRIL, 11AM START AT THE BLUEBERRY FARM
Field day to conclude about 2pm
Bring your own lunch/thermos/wet weather gear etc.
Simon Bardon, General Manager, Blueberry Country Southland – an overview of the business and actions on-farm.
Brian Rance, Ecologist, Department of Conservation – The Bayswater Scenic Reserve (known locally as the “Bayswater Bog”, a different perspective on wet-land).
We are very grateful to Simon for offering us the opportunity to hear and see about the Blueberry operation, and also to Brian who has extensive expertise in Southland biodiversity that he is happy to share with us. See below for an article I have found about the Bayswater Bog.
Look forward to seeing you all there. Question or RSVP to us as below.
Co-chairs, Waimatuku Catchment Group
Rare peat bog ecosystem protected in Southland
Monday, 8 October 2007, 3:13 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government
The purchase of an area of peat bog in western Southland is an important ecological investment, protecting threatened flora and fauna that are becoming rare in New Zealand, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.
The purchase by the government’s Nature Heritage Fund has added an additional 318 ha of peat bog to the Bayswater Scenic Reserve on the western Southland plains.
The NHF provides financial assistance to public agencies and private individuals to purchase or covenant land with high conservation values.
Mr Carter said the Bayswater peat bog is one of the largest remnants of native vegetation on the Southland plains. But changing land use, for example, with increased dairy farming in the region, was adversely affecting the bog’s ecosystem, its conservation values, in particular, the local peat bog flora and fauna.
“Peat bogs are historically a distinctive part of the ecological character of Southland but in recent years they have been coming under increasing pressure from land development. What’s left of the region’s peat bogs has now become a conservation priority.”
“By adding to the protected part of the peat bog, the long-term viability of this site is assured; it’s now big enough to function in a natural state,” Mr Carter said.
For example, good quality peat bogs capture carbon from the atmosphere and store it, and in this way can act as a carbon sink for long periods of time.
Bayswater farmer Roy Burnett is one of three adjoining former landowners with whom the NHF entered into negotiations, and whose family had farmed the area for more than 100 years.
Mr Burnett said he was pleased to see the peat bog and a significant source of freshwater water protected. “I’m thrilled that the fund has done this as it means the bog will always remain in its natural state.”
Chris Ryan, who also sold a part of the bog, said it was reassuring to know that the area was going to be protected. “It’s good for water quality and preserving it for what it is.”
In October 1993 the Department of Conservation had purchased one-quarter of the bog for protection. This acquisition brings three-quarters of the entire bog under protection for present and future generations.