New protection in Wainuiomata
Posted By QEII | April 3, 2020
Just a stone’s throw from Wellington city in Wainuiomata, proud landowners David and Pauline Innes have just placed a covenant on one of their blocks, making it one of the largest protected areas in the Wellington and Hutt Valley area. The 38-hectare block is predominantly an SSW facing gully system, with the headwaters of at least 6 small streams feeding into the main creek at the bottom.
The block includes 80-year-old regenerating bush, with large rimu and beech trees that were spared from historic felling. The higher contours are mostly stunted kamahi in high density with more luxuriant growth of a diverse range of species as you descend. Of note are relict rimu, totara, miro and large black beech with a preponderance of Freycinetia banksii on the wet gully floor and lower contours.
David and Pauline and along with their son, Craig, have shown a great amount of tenacity to see the protection of this area through to this point of it now being fully fenced. Along with difficult contours to fence, and obstacles from neighbours, there was also a hefty price tag to fence the area. Fencing has been completed, and a methodical hunting program to remove deer and pigs from the interior will follow. This will be the start of a comprehensive recovery of the vegetation followed by the fauna that will benefit.
Plans for further pest control for rats and possums will follow, all supported by QEII. Protection will encourage understory growth, with the hope that species such as mistletoe and coprosma will flourish and help build local populations of bird species such as tūī, kererū, rifleman, falcons and tomtits.