17 March 2016
The QEII National Trust and National Trust covenantors, John and Marina Poulton, have launched a crowd-funding campaign on the Million Metres crowd-funding website. They are seeking supporters to help them fund the planting of around 4000 trees on an area of stream flats on the Poultons’ farm at 70 Mile Bush near Dannevirke.
The planting zone falls within an area the Poultons recently covenanted with the QEII National Trust, protecting a remnant podocarp forest, gully and river, and the stream flats.
Million Metres was set up by the Sustainable Business Network to help communities and individuals raise the funds they need to protect and enhance the health of a million metres of waterway around New Zealand. The Poultons’ project will contribute 1250 metres to that goal.
The Poultons’ planting project is the fourth QEII National Trust project to be crowd-funded on the Million Metres website. The Poultons need to raise $44,000 to be able to plant the 1250 metres of stream this planting season. Support has quickly come in since launching the campaign a week ago, but they still have a long way to go.
Spokesperson for the QEII National Trust, Genevieve Bannister, says the timing of the campaign is perfect. With the Poultons’ covenant now fenced, grazing is no longer keeping the grass down on the flats, bringing a risk that rank grass and blackberries will be able to flourish.
‘This is an ambitious project that John and Marina could not manage funding themselves. It would be great to see this area planted out this year before weeds have a chance to colonise the area and obstruct natural regeneration processes.
‘The National Trust is not in the position to help landowners directly with projects of this nature but we work closely with other organisations and stakeholders to help covenantors out as much as we can that way.
‘We are so grateful to all those who have or will support the project through Million Metres. It is a real morale booster for the Poulton’s and, of course, the project will benefit the environment hugely,’ she says.
John and Marina Poulton say the plantings will speed up regeneration, help combat erosion, and improve the habitat of native birds and other species protected in the covenant such as the endangered longfin eel.
‘We are really excited to crowd-fund for the project through Million Metres and get the support we need to protect the health of the river.
‘When we were kids we could drink water from rivers and swim safely where we wanted. We want to make sure our kids and future generations can do the same,’ they say.
Horizons Regional Council has been closely involved with the project. It has worked with the Poultons to prepare a whole-of-farm management plan, helped out with fencing and, through its He Tini Awa Fund, is contributing plants and support for restoration work at other sites on the farm.
Anyone wanting to support this project and help protect the health of our rivers and streams can make a contribution at www.millionmetres.org.nz.
Photo: John and Marina Poulton with Milly, Isobel, and Zari.
QEII National Trust
Media liaison: Anne McLean, 04 474 1689, email@example.com
Million Metres Streams
Georgina Hart, Georgina@sustainable.org.nz