Soil conservation funding boost from central government
We will receive nearly $2 million to support farmers with erosion-prone land across North Canterbury.
The funding comes from Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service (TUR-NZFS) and will help continue the successful Soil Conservation and Revegetation (SCAR) Programme, which will now extend until 2027. Previously in Hurunui and Kaikōura, the programme will be introduced into Waimakariri too.
The programme started in 2019 to reduce the amount of sediment washed into waterways through erosion and provide funding for pole and native planting, fencing, and mapping support for landowners managing these areas.
The programme has funded 22,000 poles, retired over 500 hectares of highly erosion-prone land, and taken significant steps towards developing soil conservation expertise in Canterbury.
"We're very excited to have the opportunity to continue this great mahi and work with landowners to improve erosion-prone areas on-farm," SCAR Project Delivery Officer Iana Stoliarova said.
Delivering targeted treatments on erosion-prone land
"The programme achieves retention of productive soils while delivering benefits to water quality, biodiversity and mahinga kai, and building on-farm resilience to climatic effects," she said.
"Farmers work alongside our land management advisors to identify areas of their properties that are erosion-prone. They then work together to find the best way to mitigate this erosion.
"This might be through planting poles or natives, retiring land or sometimes through land use capability maps which identify the most effective uses based on the land type.
"We'll be applying the lessons from the past four years and are forever thankful to the programme partners - Ministry for Primary Industries, local catchment groups, landowners, rūnanga and Environment Canterbury, for continuing to support this mahi," she said.
The next phase (2023-2027) of SCAR aims to:
- Treat 300 hectares of highly erodible land through reversion
- Treat at least 520 hectares of highly erodible land through space/pole planting
- Deliver at least 48 Erosion Control Plans
- Deliver 40 Land Use Capability maps
- Increase mātauranga/knowledge by building soil conservation capability amongst landowners, rural professionals, and Environment Canterbury staff
- Support community groups to develop local soil conservation initiatives and nurseries.
Hill Country Erosion Programme
In 2019, we were successful in receiving funding from Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service (TUR-NZFS) through the Hill Country Erosion (HCE) fund. From this, the SCAR programme began.
The HCE fund takes a total catchment approach involving landowners and community members to identify issues and create solutions within their own catchments.
Regional councils and landowners work together to identify the most suitable land use for their erosion-prone land, then develop and implement appropriate treatment plans.
The main erosion treatment is tree planting and retirement of vulnerable land, including appropriate species for natural vegetative cover. The HCE Programme is a partnership between the Ministry for Primary Industries, councils and landowners. It provides funding support to regional erosion-control projects that are beyond the capacity of councils to address on their own.