Funding for hill country erosion

Land-owners in Hurunui and Kaikōura districts can now apply for funding to help combat hill side erosion under a Soil Conservation and Revegatation Programme (SCAR) 2022.

Pole planting to combat farm erosion

Pole planting to combat farm erosion

It's a four-year erosion control programme – from July 2019 to July 2023 – delivering targeted treatments on erosion-prone land.

The aim is to reduce the amount of sediment washed into waterways and to deliver long-term environmental benefits.

SCAR will see farmers working alongside Environment Canterbury (ECan) Land Management Advisors to achieve better soil conservation in gullies and erosion-prone land.

The programme is co-funded by ECan and the MPI Hill Country Erosion Fund, and the goal is to reach as many eligible land-owners as possible.

Funding is targeted at:

  • Space planting of poplars
  • Planting native plants and fencing off areas from stock
  • Catchment-scale mapping and on-farm Land Use Capability maps to support farm environment planning
  • Building staff and catchment group capacity to consult on soil conservation and farm plans
  • Expanding the Council's existing nursery to provide greater numbers of poplars and willows across the region.

Support available

ECan Land Advisors will work with farmers on:

  • Funding applications associated with the programme
  • Prioritising land for treatment
  • Developing erosion control plans for their property.

Funding available to identify and treat erosion-prone land

Activity Costs through SCAR assistance Additional information Farm Environment Plan

Poplar poles

+ GST and delivery

Poles for $4.00/pole.
(Normal retail – $12.00/pole)

Free protective sleeves

(Normal retail price $9.50)

Poles are 3 metres long

Recommended but not required
Land Use Capability
(LUC) Mapping

Free mapping up to $5000

To assess the physical characteristics of the land, to help landowners understand the capability of the land to make sustainable land-use decisions.

Not required.

Reversion / Retirement fencing $10/metre

Payment on inspection.

Typically 8-wire post with droppers/battens. Stock must be permanently excluded


A current
FEP is required.
Reversion / Retirement land Provide up to $1500/hectare 
Partial payment on invoice, remaining on inspection
Note: A Good Faith Agreement will be required to be signed for projects, depending on the value. 


Ongoing measurement and commitment

Advisors will need reasonable access to land to approve funding applications.

It will be landowners’ responsibility to maintain funded projects:

  • Pole plantings will need to be maintained for a minimum of 10 years.
  • Fencing, reversion and retirement projects will need to be maintained on a long-term basis.

Advisors will then liaise with farmers to measure survival rates.

Project data (fencing, planting, costs, work-in-kind, timeframes, contractors) will be entered into a geographic information system (GIS).

Want to get funding?

For advice and help getting started, contact your Land Management Advisor, Sam Thompson on 027 678 9746 or for mapping advice contact Land Management Advisor-Mapping, Andrew Turnbull on 027 244 9502.

For any general enquiries, email

For more information on upcoming field days, and what is happening with the Soil Conservation programme sign up to our contact list.

Additional information

Farm Forestry New Zealand's website provides general information on poplar poles and guidance on how to plant poles successfully.

While Landcare Research’s LRIS portal (Land Resource Information Systems) provides national information on soils.

Useful fact sheets and brochures

Baynons Nursery

We manage Baynons Nursery, which supplies poles funded through the Soil Conservation and Revegetation Programme.