Mike Treder had a QEII Covenant approved for a wetland on his farm at Managamaire.
He invited St Anthony's School Year 7 and 8 students to a planting day on Tuesday, June 1.
The QEII status means anything in that area can never be cut down or damaged again.
Mike introduced the gathering, which included representatives from Horizons Regional Council and Fonterra, to Sarah Falloon (Horizons), who spoke on her wetland work.
"We help farmers and landowners with their water systems that can be protected by fencing them off and planting them," she said. "Fencing keeps animals out of the streams, avoiding damage to banks and disturbing native fish and stopping effluent going into the water.
"After we fence off these areas, we want to introduce native plants which helps native birds and insects for biodiversity. Cows pollute waterways, as they release nutrients. This can be filtered out by planting different species of plants/trees," she said.
The gathering was interrupted by the announcement that Jamie Smith from Fonterra - who was organising the barbecue afterwards - was having a birthday that day, so the school sang happy birthday to him.
Mike Treder has fenced off 3ha of wetland in the middle of his farm with the first planting on Tuesday being 200 trees with help from Horizons and Fonterra.
"We've only owned this particular farm for two years, the wetland had never been touched, so we decided it was a good idea to protect it," said Mike.
"The family that had owned the farm had been here 125 years, with Athol Mahoney (ex-All Black) having lived in the house on the property. His son Peter owned it after that.
"We now have 240ha and have named the wetland "Beaufort Wetland" after the farm name. You have to go through the process to have a QEII Covenant - Bill Wallace is the local contact for this.
"It has to be assessed and applied for, can be any size - as small as .1ha of bush area. Horizons have been brilliant for us, they paid for half the fencing, QEII paid for a quarter and I paid the other quarter. Farm Source helped out too. QEII gave a grant for future tree planting. There will be two-year time lapse photographs taken to show the growth of the trees in the future," he said.
Mike stocks around 200 milking cows (mixed Jerseys and Milking Shorthorns) for the hardy hills on the home block. He runs 200 ewes and 200 beef bulls and steers.
"Quite a mix," he said.