Project Update of Brian Lees Wetland Creation
Thursday, 02 February 2017
Conceptually this is a relatively simple design which plans to build a 177m long bund across the front of the Opuatia Wetland to flood an area of marginal grazing land. The area needs to be fenced and partially planted. Mechanical works will be required in order to create islands and peninsulas which will further enhance the breeding potential for waterfowl. In total this project will create in the order of 2.5 hectares of open water habitat an 1.2 hectares of fenced riparian margins. The fenced off area will include a small block of mature trees comprising a mixture of planted native and exotic species. Kowhai, kanuka, and oaks are all currently present and will be augmented by further dense ground cover to increase nesting habitat.
The area has been fenced and the majority of the earthworks to construct the bund have been conducted. The underlying parent material is mainly comprised of peat and therefore the bund has been left to dewater for a year, before it is topped up and compacted this coming summer. A water control structure will be put in place and the site will be planted in the coming winter/spring dependent on water levels. We are currently using property to conduct a predator study using the goodnature A24 and A12 traps. The traps have been coupled with game cameras to capture predator interactions.
Very happy with how it’s going and thankful for the financial contribution that has made it possible and although there is more work to do we are already seeing the results in more bird life due to more permanent water which makes me excited about getting it finished.