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‘NPDC clearing the way for return of native plants’

NPDC is about to start replacing an ageing stand of pine trees in Inglewood with two hectares of native bush.

The project is a big step towards increasing the amount of urban native forest in our district as part of NPDC’s Planting Our Place programme. “We’ll be doing a mix of planting of appropriate native species and where possible allowing for the cleared area revegetate naturally as there is native forest right next to the site at Joe Gibbs Reserve,” says NPDC Manager Strategic Planning Renee Davies.

“We’ll be having a few planting days with local groups and also do weed control while the new plants get established, to help them along.

“The result will be a healthy native habitat that can be enjoyed by the community and our native wildlife.”

NPDC is about to open a tender for the eight-week project, which we aim to start within the next six months. During the work, Trimble Walkway will be closed periodically, and traffic management will be in place on SH3 to ensure public safety.

Some of the trees will be sold and the income used to offset the cost of removal, while the rest will be mulched and the material either sold or used on the site to help condition the soil and support planting. Currently, New Plymouth District has nine per cent coverage of native plants in our urban communities. Through Planting Our Place, we aim to add a minimum of 34 hectares (ha) of urban native forest across the district to bring back birdsong and make our communities healthier for our children and become New Zealand’s first city to reach 10 per cent coverage.

So far, nearly eight hectares has been added under the programme – not including this Inglewood project.

The pine forest is part of land gifted to NPDC plus an additional six hectares purchased to restore native forest and wetland and provide for a Council, Pukerangiora Hapū and East Taranaki Environment Collective (ETEC) partnership to establish a conservation centre.

FAST FACTS

Each year, NPDC’s Te Korowai o Tāne – Planting our Places fund has $30,000 available to help groups with their native planting projects, and the fund is open to applications year-round. NPDC looks after 1,600ha of park and reserve land including 625ha of trees.

The six-hectare block was bought by NPDC in March 2022.

 

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