High school students, Fonterra staff and a few squad members of the Manawatu Turbos helped staff from Horizons Regional Council last week to plant around a wetland area on a Tokomaru dairy farm.

Landowners Alistair and Gaylene White had received a Horizons freshwater grant which covered 50 per cent of their planting costs,with free advice on what to plant and where.

Horizons freshwater adviser Anna Regtien says 1700 native plants went in the ground to create a 20m riparian buffer zone around the wetland.

"The Whites had fenced off the wetland five years ago and have moved the fence back to do further planting," she says.


"This will create a great buffer zone as the plants help filter soil run-off into the wetland that is a tributary to the Tokomaru River. As a low-lying point on the farm, a lot of surface run-off is funnelled through the area, so the more filter area is available the better for water quality and native fish.

"The plants chosen for this site will kick-start native regeneration of the area by providing shade and space for further growth and were locally supplied."

Fonterra area manager Nick Clarke says the Whites originally approached him with a desire to increase the wetland planted area.

"We put them on to Horizons to get the expert support and help guide us with the planting. It's great to be out here doing something positive with a range of people, who along the way will hopefully learn something about what farmers and Horizons are doing to benefit the environment."

Mrs Regtien says the Whites were keen to get others involved in the planting and do their bit for water quality.

"With the help of Fonterra, Alistair organised for about 35 Feilding High School students to join us, as well as a couple of Turbos. His son Brad also had the Hokowhitu Children's Centre, where his daughter goes, out the day before the planting to kick things off.

"For anyone else who has a fencing or planting project in mind and would like to learn more about Horizons' freshwater grants, get in touch with our freshwater team by ringing 0508 800 800."

For more information about the planting work Horizons does follow their #plantinourregion campaign on social media or see www.horizons.govt.nz