The Ashburton District Council is inviting members of the public to help with wilding pine removal from around Lake Camp on Sunday 12 June.
The Council's Open Space Planner Bert Hofmans said the removal efforts follow on from two other days recently during which the public helped with the eradication of this weed species at the popular recreation area. The other two days were organised by the Lake Clearwater Hutholders Association and Forest and Bird. Mr Hofmans said that on June 12 people can meet either at Mt Somers store at 9:00 am or at 9:30 am at the far end (Western) of Lake Camp near the water ski club.
Ashburton Biodiversity Working Group member Barry Austin said, "The efforts of volunteers are critical to our success in eradicating this weed and we really appreciate members of the public helping with this work," He said the wider programme to control wilding trees in the area will also be discussed on the day.
"We are fortunate that our wilding pine problem is not as serious as in other parts of the country, but we are keen to keep things well under control," Mr Austin said.
Wilding pines are a nuisance in areas where there is no native forest, such as above the bushline, in mineral belts and tussock grasslands. In these areas such it creates a major intrusion and modification to natural ecosystems. It flourishes from coastal areas to high altitudes. It needs only 600 mm of rain a year, so it can grow almost anywhere
in New Zealand.
Mr Hofmans said those interested in helping out need to bring good footwear, a pair of gloves and loppers (although these are not essential) and asked that people leave their chainsaws and dogs at home. A BBQ lunch will be provided for volunteers and if the weather is bad the event will be rescheduled to the following Sunday (June 19). Please RSVP with Barry Austin 0274344041 or Val Clemens 027 228 5620 by end of Wednesday 8 June.