Over 20 people turned out on a magnificent Great Barrier day in May for
an Open Day and workshop entitled Farmland in Transition. The Trust’s
aim with the workshop was to look at the changing face of farming – the
bringing together of more sustainable farm practices and restoration/
Morton and Biddie Winstone, along with project manager, John Sutton
started the day with the story of the restoration to date of the old
farming property. This was followed by a bracing walk through planted
areas, small man made wetland areas, planted and erosion proofed coastal
cliffs, and areas of regeneration on the coastal dunes now they are
fenced off from stock. Many examples of the local employment created by
this restoration project were shared – from shooting rabbits, to
fencing, to sourcing and planting, to reforming of roads and drains. The
farm is to keep much of its open pasture for raising cattle with
specimen trees and fenced groves of planting strategically placed to
maintain view shafts.
Speakers included Bill Burrill – an Auckland Regional Council Councillor
and old time Barrierite, Monica Peters from the Landcare Trust, and
Trevor Wadams and Garrick McCarthy from the ARC. Topics included
Trevor’s presentation on the management of farms in Auckland Regional
Parks where a mix of farming and conservation takes place. This showed
how the Farm Parks are trialing innovative ways of stocking to reduce
impact on the environment, promoting healthy growth with mixed grasses,
and reducing the use of chemicals. Monica Peters gave examples of
communities of farmers working together to improve stream health, and
shared ways that funding can be sourced to achieve this sort of work.
Garrick McCarthy talked about managing pests on farms and discussed some
of the new rat bait products that are being trialed which aim to give
better results with less side effects.
Thank you to sponsors D.o.C for a great lunch , and the ARC and Landcare
Trust for the travel and time of their speakers.
The attendees on the open day against the magnificent backdrop of
Palmers Beach and the blue Pacific. Photo: Fenella Christian