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There are many community native biodiversity projects happening in the Selwyn District. These include planting on private and public land, weed control and pest management.

Community Restoration Sites

Lincoln Wetlands – are water polishing and habitat creation wetlands on the eastern margin of Lincoln. The wetlands were established in 2012 and in recent years there have been community planting projects at the site involving local schools, Landcare Research, Selwyn District Council staff, and the YHA. It’s an excellent planting site that contains a number of waipuna/springheads, and it is well used by the local community for walking, jogging and bird watching. Further native plantings are anticipated for this site in the future.

Ararira Springs – this a waterway site that has been restored and developed and is situated beside the new Ararira Springs school in Lincoln. Prior to the building of the school an ecological assessment of the Liffey waterway was carried out and several important instream species – such as bluegill bullies, longfin tuna/eels and kōura/fresh water crayfish - were found to be present in the waterway. As a result the restoration project was carried out in an ecologically sensitive manner so as to not adversely affect the instream species. Over 1500 native plants will be installed at the site, and local primary schools and Lincoln University young leaders have been involved in the plantings. The site has added greatly to the excellent network of walking and recreating sites and native biodiversity in Lincoln.

Reid's Pit - is a former gravel extraction pit located near the junction of Selwyn Road and Weedons Road. The site is owned by the Selwyn District Council and we are leading the restoration of the site for indigenous habitat restoration and recreation. In 2018 Te Ara Kakariki Greenway Canterbury Trust Lead a public planting day at the site. Volunteers planted over 1,200 ecosourced native seedlings on the day.

Mahoe Reserve - is situated opposite Lincoln High School on Boundary Road. This native regeneration project was started by Lincoln High School students and members of the local community in an old shingle pit. Planting began in 2003 and since then more than 7000 plants have been put in the ground by community members, including schools, kindergartens and other local groups. Predator control is now being undertaken in the reserve by volunteers. Working bees at this impressive site are held on the first Sunday of the month, starting at 2.00 pm.

Tārerekautuku Yarrs LagoonTārerekautuku Yarrs Lagoon - is one of the largest freshwater habitats remaining in the low plains of the Canterbury District. The Lagoon has direct links to river and coastal ecosystems namely the Ararira LII river and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and is habitat for a range of indigenous species (plant and animal) despite being dominated by exotic weeds such as grey and crack willow. It was an important mahinga kai site for Ngāi Tahu, and in particular the local hapū of Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki based at Taumutu. In 2017 a scoping report for the site was written and interested groups came together to start the process of creating a management plan for the area.

Pest Management

The majority of our native species are vulnerable to introduced predators such as rats, stoats, cats and possums.

Predator Free 2050 has a vision to completely remove rats, stoats, and possums from New Zealand. Predator Free NZ are leading the pest free movement at a national level. There many community groups in our region that are working to help fulfil the vision of a predator free New Zealand.

Pest Free Kirwee is registered with Predator Free NZ and is dedicated to the eradication of mammalian pests in the Kirwee township and the surrounding rural area. Kirwee trappers provide traps, knowledge, training and support; they can be contacted at predatorfreekirwee@netspeed.net.nz

Pest Free Selwyn is being led by Lincoln Envirotown Trust. With our support they have opened a trap Library where a limited numbers of DOC200 traps and bait are available for loan. The trap library is open on the last Saturday of every month at the Lincoln Farmers and Craft Market.

Pest Free Banks Peninsula is a collaborative programme to protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity on Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū through the widespread eradication of animal pests. This community-led initiative has been formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by 14 foundation signatories in November 2018. The Selwyn District Council is a signatory to this MOU. The Pest Free Banks Peninsula working group have prepared a strategy for a pest-free Banks Peninsula which outlines what they seek to achieve, the why and priorities for the next five years.

If you know of any community led projects that are not displayed on this webpage please contact Denise at biodiversity@selwyn.govt.nz

Recording Biodiversity in your backyard and beyond

iNaturalistNZ - Mātaki Taiao is a place where you can share what you see in nature, set up citizen science and community based monitoring projects, meet other nature watchers, and learn about New Zealand's amazing natural history.

Nature Space is a website for groups, individuals and landowners undertaking ecological restoration in New Zealand. The website allows you to record details about your restoration project such as: group members, weeds controlled, plants put in the ground and pests caught. Nature Space also has links to information and resources for restoration groups.

Community Partnerships

Te Ara Kakariki Greenway Canterbury Trust (TAK) is an incorporated Charitable Trust with a goal of increasing biodiversity in Canterbury. Their mission is to create a 'Greenway' corridor of native biodiversity between the Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers linking the mountains to the sea and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. TAK works with private and public landowners to provide support, expertise and volunteer planters. We support the Trust and The Kids Discovery Plantout Program (KDP) via funding and staff time through our Biodiversity Coordinator and Biodiversity Officer.

Enviroschools is an environmental action based programme for young people. TAK and Enviroschools have created a bespoke program of hands-on activities that support actions to protect and enhance native biodiversity. Many Selwyn schools are Enviroschools and are involved in the KDP program on public land including Lincoln Wetlands, Ararira Springs, Timberyard Point and other reserves.

Living Water - Living Water is a partnership between the Department of Conservation and Fonterra that is working in five catchments across New Zealand to improve freshwater ecosystems. The Ararira/LII River is a significant spring-fed tributary of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. There has been significant loss of wetland, freshwater ecosystems and lowland habitat and, water quality is poor due to high levels of suspended sediment, nutrients and E. coli.  Living Water is working with us and other key stakeholder, to take a more holistic approach to waterway management with the aim to  transform the drain and water network into a healthy freshwater ecosystem within a productive agricultural landscape

Water and Wildlife Habitat Trust - has a mission is to restore the ecological health of key waterways in Canterbury through collaborative partnerships for ecologically sustainable use of land and water resources. A core project in the Selwyn area is the Silver Stream Restoration Project. Silver Stream flows into the Selwyn Waikirikiri River just above Coes Ford and has been a source of excess nutrients such as nitrogen. The project aims to create collaborative partnership between farmers, Local and Regional Councils, industry and NGO's to plan and implement a healthy waterways program for the Silver Stream Catchment.