A local farmer is taking matters into his own hands to help improve the water quality in the Karamu catchment.

The improvement of water quality in the Karamu is one of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's "hot spot" funded projects.

One of the waterways contributing to the Karamu Stream is the Paritua Stream, which runs through Bridge Pa farmland owned by Malcolm Campbell.

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To keep the stock he grazes there away from the water, he is working with the council to install two-wire electrified fences about three to five metres from each side of the stream.

"Fencing both sides of a stream is an effective way to keep the cattle out of the water, which has been a contentious issue for residents using the stream further down, and is an example of good land management," said council senior open spaces development officer Antony Rewcastle.

"Fencing off streams is being recognised across the country as an important step for landowners to improve water quality, and Hawke's Bay landowners may be required to do this under future plan changes."

Mr Campbell has redecked the bridge across the stream, one he originally built as a young man - which will give cattle access to both sides of the paddock, and to the stock water trough on the south side of the stream.

Over the past few years the council has also enhanced part of the stream with Mangaroa Marae, including planting about 10,000 native trees near the marae downstream of Raukawa Rd Bridge.

This part of the stream includes a popular swimming hole so fencing the upstream section will help improve water quality for Bridge Pa residents and the marae.

The catchment's size means a lot of contaminants come into the Karamu Stream and end up in the Clive River and Waitangi Estuary.