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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:23am

Farmer Andy Spanton and his children on a hillside with newly planted trees

The Council’s Selwyn Natural Environment Fund (SNEF) which encourages the protection and restoration of native biodiversity on private land, is open for applications.

The SNEF assists landowners with advice and funding that supports the continued protection, management and restoration of natural environments.

Biodiversity coordinator Andy Spanton says many farms in Selwyn have patches of vegetation that contain rare, significant or threatened native species.

“The fund’s first priority is to protect sites that have been identified by an ecological assessment as significant or are under covenant, particularly where they face threats such as from weeds or grazing.

“The fund’s second priority is to help increase, restore, enhance and protect sites that would benefit from native biodiversity enhancement and protection,” Andy says.

A growing number of landowners in the district are protecting and restoring areas of native vegetation on private land including Tai Tapu landowner Scott Amos. Mr Amos received $4,440 from the SNEF in the 2017/18 year to carry out native planting on a hill block. He has completed the first year of a five-year planting plan, with a second area earmarked for planting later this year.

Regenerating the area with native plants and protecting the site for future generations is what drives Mr Amos’ biodiversity efforts.

“There are so many benefits as a result of doing this work such as increased bird life, insects and lizards, erosion control and increased biodiversity – we are noticing the benefits of this already,” Mr Amos says. “Andy has been giving us great help and we would also like to mention how amazing Te Ara Kakariki Greenway Canterbury Trust has been with developing a planting plan and providing volunteers to assist with the planting.”

Find out more about the Selwyn Natural Environment Fund.