Thursday, 15 April 2010
“The Willow Pond” located on the Upper Waikato River, right bank adjoining Vaile Road has been renamed Hucks Wetlands after Mike Hucks a keen game bird hunter and advocate who passed away in 2008. In 2006 The Wildflowlers Association was successful in securing a grant from the Waikato Ecological Enhancement Trust to restore water levels of the Hucks Wetlands.
Hucks Wetlands is a small site (16,000 m²) which was carefully selected by the Wildflowlers Association as a trial site because the area can be easily accessed by both land and water, therefore allowing easy monitoring. In addition the site had a number of characteristics which strengthened the chance of a good outcome, such as higher natural banks separating the wetland from the river, a single inlet/outlet that is narrow and can be simply weired at relatively low cost.
The Physical works included building a bund and weir using geotech cloth. A simple gauge has been installed to measure maximum and minimum river levels. The main objective to establish a waterfowl breeding ground with stable water levels for all species has been achieved, however, minor maintenance work is expected to continue for the next year.