Native plants ‘released’ at Bluff

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Bluff Hill Motupohue Environment Trust volunteer Tania Drower 'releases' a plant near the walkway between Stirling Point and the Gunpit on Bluff Hill as part of the trust's ongoing native plant regeneration of Motupohue.

THE Bluff Hill Motupohue Environment Trust held a Welcome to Level 2 Plant Release party last Saturday.

More than 20 people of all ages took part in ‘releasing’ native plants near the walkway between Stirling Point and The Gunpit on Bluff Hill Motupohue under Alert Level 2 guidelines.

Trust chairperson Estelle Leask said releasing the native plants was part of the Plant Your Population programme run by the Invercargill City Council (ICC) Parks and Recreation team, which aimed to grow green spaces by planting the equivalent of Invercargill’s population of 54,200 on ICC land.

Bluff Hill Motupohue had been identified as one of those areas, Mrs Leask said, resulting in the planting of 1000 native flora annually around the Sterling Point area during the past six years.

Each plant had originally been planted with a rabbit protection sleeve.

The Frahm family (from left) Roxanne (mum), Ngaio and Luka help ‘release’ plants near the walkway between Stirling Point the Gunpit on Bluff Hill as part of the Bluff Hill Motupohue Enviroment Trust’s ongoing native plant regeneration of Motupohue.

Once they reached a certain height and were no longer threatened by rabbits, they were then ‘released’ from the sleeve.

“Rabbits like grassy areas. When the plants grow to a certain height, the rabbits can’t browse on them any longer,” Mrs Leask said.

“And when the native bush is established, then the weeds will no longer grow either.”

Mrs Leask said she was pleased the estimated 10-year restoration project of the area had been completed in half the time thanks to the “corroborated effort” of the trust volunteers, the Awarua Runanga, ICC and Southern Institute of Technology environmental students.

As a result, the trust was “looking for more areas which would be suitable for [native bush] restoration”, she said.

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