Funding for hill country erosion

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

Pole planting to combat farm erosion

Pole planting to combat farm erosion

The four-year programme began in July 2019 to deliver targeted erosion-control treatments.

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 $2.50/pole

(Normal retail = $10/pole)

Free protective sleeves

Poles are 3 metres long

Recommended but not required
Farm mapping

Free mapping up to $5000

-

A current FEP is required


Reversion / Retirement fencing $10/metre

Payment on inspection.

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

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. 

Difference between SCAR and One Billion Trees

SCAR is focused on treating erosion-prone hill country, and includes space planting poplar poles, mapping and reversion/retirement fencing. Whereas One Billion Trees can apply to non-erosion prone land, and although it is focused on planting trees, it doesn’t fund space planting.

Landowners can seek funding through both programmes, but not for the same block of land being planted or fenced for reversion.

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 an ECan Land Management Advisor through Customer Services on 0800 324 636 or email ecinfo@ecan.govt.nz.

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.