This is an exciting new project right on the doorstep of Whitianga township. It will involve Wilding Pine removal and other weed control, predator trapping, track building and maintenance and large scale native tree planting. MBET are both honoured and excited to be involved in this project and look forward to seeing the great restoration of flora and fauna as this work is carried out.
The Backdrop Trust Project involves 150 acres of land directly across the river from Whitianga marina and is a collaboration between the land owners (the Backdrop Trust) and the Mercury Bay Environmental Trust (MBET). The project is based on bringing to fruition the vision of Jo McNiel; a long time local and that whom placed the covenant upon this piece of land. Thus vision being to remove all pest species from the land, both plant and animal, and then to assist the re-establishment of the lowland coastal forest that would have been naturally found on this land 150 years ago. Through pest-control- including Wilding Pine eradication- and re-planting of native flora, the eco-systems will flourish, encouraging native birds and other fauna to thrive.
There's been a lot happening behind the scenes for many months now, but as of August 1st we've reached a significant step-the pine eradication has commenced! Second Nature NZ Ltd have a great team who will spend approximately 5 weeks felling Wilding Pines. Meanwhile, Purangi Conservation Trust have been working hard, trapping for possums, rats, stoats, weasels and other pests. Our MBET nursery has a range of well-established forest trees that we are looking forward to planting soon, once the felling has been completed.
In the future, we will also be developing a network of walking tracks that will be open to the public to provide a range of day walks. The tracks will include ample education opportunities so as visitors can learn the cultural and environmental significance of the area.
A large project, but an exciting one nonetheless. We look forward to the day one will be able to sit on the town side of the river and hear Kiwis call in the evening and the dawn chorus the following morning. Watch this space for more updates as this project unfolds.